Guild holds fund-raiser art auction

Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2004

Patrons of the Harvest Art Show and Auction will be paying for more than just the artwork they bid on at the Sept. 25 event. They'll also be paying to keep the Kenai Fine Arts Center open and operating.

The cost of the art purchased will have a finite value associated with it when it's time to pull out the checkbook, but the value of the center is a much more intangible thing. Run by the Kenai Art Guild, which is putting on the art show and auction, the center serves as a place for all those potters, painters and other artistic people in the community to create and display their talents.

The annual Harvest Art Show and Auction, one of two major fund-raisers the guild holds each year, works by auctioning off donated artwork from area artists. Artists 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 reaped a bounty of submissions this year -- about 75 pieces, which is up from previous years, said William Heath, who hung the show.

"It's good. The gallery is full. I can't really get any more pieces in there without crowding them," Heath said.

Many of the donating artists' names and work should be familiar to anyone who visits galleries in the Kenai-Soldotna area, since they are frequent participants in area art shows and sales galleries. Some of the donated pieces come from artists of even wider renown, as well -- including a stone lithograph by Jim Evenson, a pastel painting by Celia Anderson, a print from Dot Bardarson and pottery by Carol Walkiewicz and Ann Wilson. So if someone has admired a particular artists' work for a while, now may be the time to pick up one of their creations.

"There's some really nice pieces this year," Heath said. "... I'm really pleased. I thought the pottery was very strong this year and the additions of some of the higher-end two dimensional prints and paintings was very kind on the part of artists. I think we have a good variety. There's something in there for everybody."

The art up for auction covers many spectrums, from small to large pieces, traditional pictorial styles to more abstract and rustic simplicity to embellished elegance, all donated from amateur to professional artists.

There's digital and traditional photography, many styles of paintings, drawings, bead work, glass mosaics, fiber pieces, a range of pottery and a bass relief.

"If anybody has some little nook or cranny on their wall they need to fill, I suspect they could do that," Heath said.

The only difficulty may be in deciding which art would fit best in which nook and-or cranny. Animal lovers can choose between wildlife captured by the artists' film -- like in John Demske's picture of two moose calves -- or captured by the artists' imagination, like Chris Jenness' pastel depiction of moose calves or Marlyn Kramer's majestic watercolor rendering of a dall sheep.

Someone looking for pieces representative of the central Kenai Peninsula would have no difficulty finding any, as there are several paintings and drawings with fishing and nautical themes, as well as some painted landscapes including Mount Redoubt.

True to the event's harvest name and the time of year it is held, there are a few paintings graced by the reds and golds of fall, as well.

The outcry auction and gala will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Kenai Fine Arts Center at 816 Cook Ave. in Old Town Kenai across form the Oilers' Bingo Hall. Admission is $20, and the event will be catered with food and beverages, both alcoholic and non. Anyone wanting to view the show before then can stop by the gallery during its open hours -- Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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