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Arlington Arts Council Auction earns $11,000

Auctioneer Fred Beal and his assistants Vicci Hilty and Vana Laura Kuhl auction off a cake from Bistro San Martin for $90 at the Fall into Art Auction Saturday, Oct. 18. - SARAH ARNEY The Arlington Times
Auctioneer Fred Beal and his assistants Vicci Hilty and Vana Laura Kuhl auction off a cake from Bistro San Martin for $90 at the Fall into Art Auction Saturday, Oct. 18.
— image credit: SARAH ARNEY The Arlington Times

ARLINGTON — Even with a struggling economy and low bid prices, the Arlington Arts Council raised more than $11,000 for art in Arlington at its annual auction Saturday, Oct. 19.

Even more importantly, everyone seemed to have a good time, but that may be my own biased opinion as emcee and part of the organizing committee. Of course, those who were bored stiff probably wouldn’t tell me, but I did get a lot of positive feedback in may e-mail box.

Joining a table full of employees from Cascade Valley Hospital, Heather Logan said she had a great time.

“I was thrilled to get such a good deal on Verena Schwippert’s ‘Pilchuck’ for the hospital,” Logan said.

Lance Carleton, whose sculpture of a bicycle made out of recycled metal, “Fat Tire,” was on the Wall of Wishes for possible future projects, e-mailed his thanks for a nice time.

“I thought it went well and I hope it was as fruitful as you had hoped,” Carleton wrote.

The secretary of the AAC who has chaired former auctions for the arts council as well as for the Arlington Kiwanis Club, Virginia Hatch said she left thinking that it was really classy.

“I thought since all the artwork was selling at such bargain prices, that we should be prepared for a lower profit,” she said.

But due to the sheer magnitude of a great variety of art, the auction raised nearly as much as last year, said the AAC treasurer, Jean Olson, who spent Sunday sorting out the numbers.

“We brought in $17,000,” Olson said. “But that includes the tickets which simply covered the cost of the Italian buffet dinners and the banquet room at the Hawthorn Inn.

“After the $4,300 for the room and dinner bill and other expenses, we cleared more than $11,000,” said Olson, who noted there was an especially eclectic range of art in this year’s auction.

“Along with many original paintings in oil, acrylics, watercolor and collage, we also had stone and metal sculptures, several glass plates, pottery, photographs, fiber art, jewelry and many non-art objects, such as massages, exercise classes, theater tickets and even a room at the Mayflower Park Hotel.

The centerpiece project coordinated by Carey Waterworth encouraged AAC member artists to paint miniature classic paintings after well-known artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Edward Hopper among many others. It brought in $1,200 with the highest price miniature selling for $103.

The People’s Choice Award for the most popular work of art went to Marguerite Goff’s “Salmon Spirit Jar” and second place went to Monica Yantis’ “Fruit and Wine” watercolor still life.

The popular favorite proposal for public art in the future was Gregory’s Minaker’s “Entryway Tree Arbors,” which also won last year. Due to the magnitude of the proposal, the AAC did not acquire this proposal, but continues to encourage the city to consider it for its entryway project. Second popular favorite was Verena Schwippert’s proposal “Open Hand” which people could see would be very appropriate for both the new hospital expansion or the new fire station in Smokey Point.

The Split the Pot raffle ticket sales brought in $700 and half was given to the winner of the drawing, Arlington’s librarian Kathy Bullene.

Steve DeGregorio won the Heads and Tales game where everyone is encouraged to donate $10 to enter the game and participants are gradually eliminated through a coin toss. DeGregorio won a massage, $50 toward dinner at Bistro San Martin and $50 shopping at the thrift store of Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County in Everett.

Mayor Margaret Larson spoke on behalf of the arts, acknowledging the partnership between the city of Arlington and the Arlington Arts Council and the steadily increasing collection of public art that honors the natural world around Arlington and contributes to the Arlington community’s unique identity.

“What’s more fun than hanging out with a bunch of artists and art enthusiasts,” Larson said as she concluded her short speech.

One of Arlington’s favorite artists, the fish lady, Marguerite Goff, also spoke on behalf of the arts, artists and public art specifically.

“The auction was very attractive and very well organized,” said Hatch.

“I am ecstatic. With the economy in the crapper and art selling at low prices, $11,000 is amazing. Now we get to start planning how to spend it.”

Along with acquiring public art in Arlington, the AAC also offers art classes for kids in the summer, an exhibit of member art and hands-on art projects at the street fair, two retail art shows for its members and this coming year will present an old-time music ensemble, Marley’s Ghost at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center in late February.

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