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Bountiful beauty

Auction is win-win for artists, buyers, Kenai Art Guild

Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2005


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  Ken Green created "Fish & Circles" on a finished plank. At right, Judy Brandt and Ann Wilson's "Carved Bowl" is another piece available in the Harvest Art Show and Auction on display at the Kenai Fine Arts Center.

Ken Green created "Fish & Circles" on a finished plank. At right, Judy Brandt and Ann Wilson's "Carved Bowl" is another piece available in the Harvest Art Show and Auction on display at the Kenai Fine Arts Center.

As the saying goes, giving is better than receiving, but that doesn't mean it isn't nice when generosity is rewarded.

That's the beauty of the Kenai Art Guild's annual Harvest Art Show and Auction — everyone gives, and gets, something in return.

It starts with area artists who donate work to be auctioned in the show. They can choose to take 25 percent of the proceeds from the sale of their pieces, but many just let the guild have the profits. The guild uses the proceeds from the auction to run the Kenai Fine Arts Center, which in turn benefits the artists by providing them a place to display their work in various shows throughout the year.

Then there's the buyers. The money they spend on artwork is essentially a donation to the guild, yet they get more than just a warm feeling from their philanthropy, they get quality pottery, paintings, photos or whatever else strikes their fancy.

Just because work is donated, don't take that to mean it's not worth anything. Pieces come from respected artists in the area, like pottery by Ann Wilson, Carol Wal-kiewicz and Peggy Gill Thompson, a stone lithograph by Jim Evenson, photography by William Heath and mixed-media work by Marty Hapeman, among others.


"It's a lot of the quote unquote names of the artists in the area," said Heath, who hung the show.

Work runs the gamut from ceramics to painting and photography to sculpture.

"We've got a couple pieces of jewelry in there, which is kind of nice. We haven't had much of that before," Heath said.

While fiber arts aren't well represented — although Heath promised "there's a quilt on the way" — a wealth of pottery easily rounds out the show. For those more interested in items to decorate walls, there's a variety of paintings and photography and even a painted, carved wooden piece to fit that bill.

The beauty of soliciting work from artists in different mediums is there's plenty of pieces to appeal to broad tastes.

This year's show has over 50 pieces. That's down from last year's 70-some works, but only because Heath chose to pare down the amount.

"We actually reduced the number of submissions this year because we had too many last year," he said. "... This year it looks like in the mid-50s, which is easier to move in an auction."


Mary Wyne's acrylic "Alaskan Scene" planting is one of several framed works up for auction.

The auction will be held at 8 p.m. Sept. 24 with viewing and socializing beginning at 6 p.m. The event includes appetizers, drinks and music for an admission of $20. There's also a raffle for an Andy Hehnlin egg tempera painting, with tickets for $10.

Whether you're planning to buy or just are interested in checking out the art, the time to do so is now.

"Get in there before the crowd gets there," Heath said. "It's kind of hard to see the show from your seat. If you're really looking for some piece of art, that is the way to do it, go and spend some time with it."

Even if you've already gone, new pieces have been added so another look is in order, Heath said.

The center is open from noon to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at 816 Cook St. in Old Town Kenai.

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