Panel Auction Enriches Sawdust Programs


The second annual Original Collectors’ Panel Auction, a fundraiser for the Sawdust Art Festival’s education program, raised nearly $18,000.

As last year, roughly 70 artists embellished foot-wide panels in whatever manner inspiration suggested, even if it took them out of their accustomed mediums.

For example, Ray Caruso who specializes in scrimshaw carvings, created an oil painting of a shark that elicited a bidding war at auction, said Suzette Rosenthal, a multi-media artist and member of the Sawdust’s 2011 Committee, a group that helps oversee festival operations.

But, unlike last year, the panels were put on display throughout the duration of the Sawdust Festival, which allowed potential buyers to bid in silent auction or at a “buy now” price.

“Our ‘buy now price’ sales brought in $6,000. At auction time we had 57 panels left, and altogether our gross revenue came to $17,750,” said Rosenthal.

Thirty percent of each panel’s selling price was earmarked as artists’ compensation, which they could either keep or donate back to the auction’s proceeds.

James Landsdell scored two firsts this summer: a first time Sawdust exhibitor, he was also the first artist to sell his painting at the set “buy now” price.

Art education funds are used for expansion of art classes for children and adults and maintenance of teaching facilities. Throughout the year, classes are taught by artists who either donate their time or by paid staff, said Rosenthal. “We are pleased to have generated such a large amount, given the state of the economy,” she said.



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