This year’s James Bond-themed event highlights the daringly creative works of some of the region’s most-touted artists, wrapped up neatly into a two-day party of the likes only the Ah Haa School can throw.
Festivities rev up a day early this year, with a new addition to the Art Auction schedule with Thursday’s intimate Artists’ Gathering.
The 19th Annual Art Auction will then hijack Telluride’s social calendar on Friday evening, with bidding on silent auction items starting at 5 p.m. and the live auction seizing the spotlight at 7 p.m.
The weekend lineup promises more than just a chance to get in touch with your inner James Bond (or Bond girl), said Ah Haa’s Executive Director Rachel Loomis-Lee. “The art we have on the auction block this year absolutely amazes me. Many of our artists made pieces specifically for this event,” she says.
Art lovers will get their chance to get up close and personal with some of the auction’s featured artists this year, with an intimate artists’ gathering on Thursday (July 21) from 5 – 7 p.m. Guests will learn the inside story behind the works of local creators Andy Ward, Julie McNair, Robert Weatherford, and Amy Schilling, whose pieces will then be auctioned at 7 p.m. They include a martini cabinet made by Ward; “Bee Haven,” a ceramic piece by McNair; “Aspen Grove,” an oil painting by Weatherford, and Schilling’s encaustic on wood panel, entitled “Sun.”
Attendees at the new Thursday event will get to preview all of the 2011 artists’ works and pre-bid on both live and silent auction items. The artists’ talks and the live auction will begin at 5:30 p.m., with champagne and canapés and live music.
“We wanted to do something a little different this year, giving the artists a chance to actually talk about their work, and guests a chance to hear what’s behind the artwork,” Loomis-Lee said of the new Thursday event.
The 2011 Art Auction kicks into high gear on Friday July 22, with bidding on silent auction items starting at 5 p.m. The silent auction features more than 150 original art pieces and over 200 trips, goods and services donated by the region’s artists, businesses, and Ah Haa School supporters.
The live auction opens at 7 p.m. and showcases a vintage 1978 convertible VW bug donated by Sheila Wald; a pastel painting by Steve Cieciuch; and a Polka Duet Tandem Bike creatively tricked out by local artists Jon Hubbard and Buff Hooper. This year’s auction will also include special guest New Orleans artist, Frenchy, who will create a painting on-site capturing the event. The painting will also be auctioned at the end of the evening.
The live auction will, of course, include what has in recent years become an Ah Haa Auction highlight; a dress hand-painted by Nicole Finger, accompanied by matching shoes and jewelry. The Art Noveau artist Alphonse Mucha’s piece, Morning Star, inspired the dress, which Finger hand-painted and was custom-made by TAB Director Katy Parnello’s New York City design company, Onerary.
Beyond offering members of the community the chance to surround themselves with the spectacularly inspired art of their local artists (as well as a darn good party) Loomis-Lee says the Art Auction offers and opportunity to support a beloved community organization.
“The Ah Haa has kept the arts alive in Telluride,” she said, noting that the annual Art Auction is the only operational fundraiser the non-profit puts on. “It’s what pays our instructors, buy the materials, and provides our scholarships… it’s truly what keeps our doors open.”
Admission to Thursday’s intimate gathering is $45. Tickets include admission to the Friday auction. Cost for the Friday auction is $25.
For more information call 728-3886 or visit our