What greater luxury is there than owning an original piece of art?
That’s the question fundraising co-ordinator Judy Basso asked during a press conference Tuesday announcing the 24th Kamloops Art Gallery Original Art Auction Fundraiser.
Auction items will be on display at the gallery for viewing and pre-bid from Sept. 8 to 21. Basso said pre-bids will be counted as opening bids at the cocktail party on Saturday, Sept. 22.
“See a piece you like? Just give us the highest amount you would be comfortable paying,” she said.
There are more than 100 works up for bid including original art by new and established local artists as well as artists from across the country.
“They are the best of the best,” said Basso.
Curator Charo Neville said the exhibit features the work of 70 artists and all the pieces on display are juried prior to selection. There won’t be more than two pieces by any one artist.
“We’re really looking at the quality of the work,” she said, adding everything from etchings to oil paintings will be on display.
Also up for grabs are weekend getaways and door prizes that will be unlocked from treasure chests. Basso said every partygoer will get a key and three winning keys will open the chests that contain prizes.
New to the festivities this year is a luxury vacation lottery. Basso said the winner receives a $10,000 European river cruise or $8,000 voucher for a trip for two anywhere in the world.
“The great thing is there are only 450 tickets being sold. The odds (of winning) are fabulous,” she said.
Tickets for the lottery are $100 and can be purchased at the auction, the gallery store or by phoning 250-377-2400.
In an era of reduced funding for the arts, events like this are becoming more common, but Basso said the auction is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Kamloops Art Gallery.
“It’s a tradition now. People always look forward to it,” she said.
Past events have raised about $25,000 with between 130 and 150 people in attendance. Basso said the gallery venue holds 180 and she’d like to see the place filled up.
Tickets are $65 at the gallery or available by phoning 250-377-2400.