Vernon Public Art Gallery raises more than $19,000 at its unprecedented Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts virtual auction
The cameras are off, the tally is in, and supporters now have exceptional artworks to proudly display as a result of the Vernon Public Art Gallery’s unprecedented 34th annual Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts online art auction.
A total of $19,500 was raised from the both the silent and live auction event that saw registered participants bidding on donated work by renowned Okanagan and BC artists.
“It was a great opportunity to hold a safe socially distanced gathering and see all the support for the art gallery,” said VPAG Executive Director Dauna Kennedy. “Both groups and individuals registered for the live event and we received a lot of positive comments. Considering we were all new to hosting this type of event, we are proud we managed to do something new and exciting.”
Ticket holders had the opportunity to bid on nine out of 44 paintings at the live auction, which was broadcast live via online channels on July 15. Among the nine live auction items, Rick Bond’s painting, Paris Nights, ended up receiving the highest winning bid of $1,200, while Gabrielle Strong’s Emerald Coast III sold for well over its fair market value of $750 in the silent auction.
“There were people who were willing to pay above and beyond, and those extra dollars go such a long way,” said Kennedy, adding those who bid over fair market value receive a charitable tax receipt for the difference.
Operated in the same vein as a mini telethon, Beach Radio morning show host Brian Martin and his partner, Camillia Courts, kept the action flowing, along with Executive Director Dauna Kennedy. Besides the auction, live music was performed by band Virgil Caine. Bidders also had the opportunity to enjoy a catered at-home picnic supplied by Gumtree and Uprooted Catering.
Behind the scenes, VPAG board member Shell Duggan and long-time supporter Sarah Kennedy took the lead in helping to organize this new take on Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts. Dauna Kennedy says it wouldn’t have been possible without the technical support provided by the VPAG’s summer students as well as Sproing Creative and photographer Peter Solymosi. Participants were also able to interact by posting comments to the organizers and with one another.
“It was fun seeing the people committed to get last their last bids in. It was also great to see some new names among those who were bidding,” said Kennedy.
With the 2020 Midsummer’s Eve now wrapped up, the VPAG continues with its programming and exhibitions as it looks into the future of what can be done under the circumstances around COVID-19. The gallery is also actively involved in planning and development for the new Cultural Centre.
“It’s really important for us to keep on track and move forward as we look to build this new facility. We look forward to working with all partners in making the Cultural Centre a home to support the economy, the community, and the arts for years to come,” said Kennedy.
Visit https://www.vernonpublicartgallery.com/ for more information.
ABOUT THE VERNON PUBLIC ART GALLERY
As the largest public art gallery in the North Okanagan, the VPAG is a not-for-profit charitable organization that works to engage, educate and enrich the community and visitors in all aspects of the visual arts. With approximately 20 exhibition per year for public viewing, the VPAG supports emerging, mid-career and established artists working in a variety of media, including paintings, sculpture, video and installation art. The gallery is also host to a number of events and art education endeavours, including its main fundraiser, the annual Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts.