Department of Visual Arts hosts largest-ever art auction event with highest-ever funds raised
The Hastings College Department of Visual Arts hosted its annual art auction event, newly named “Art on Elm,” in the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center (JDAC) on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 5-9 p.m. with an estimated record attendance.
Artwork auctioned during the event was submitted by students, faculty and staff of the department, as well as donated by community members and visiting artists from the past two years. Funds collected from the event and auctioned work will go towards costs within the department for proposed projects and events.
A 25 percent commission was taken from student work submitted to and sold during a silent auction portion of the event. The commissions were collected and placed in the department’s “auction fund” along with the additional funds collected during the event from donated community, faculty and staff work, as well as visiting artists’ work made during their stays at HC — 100 percent of visiting artists’ work sales going into the fund. Ticket sales for the event were also deposited into the fund, with the department preselling tickets for $20 online and selling tickets at the door for $25; HC students and department staff were able to enter the event free of charge.
While amounts are still being calculated, according to Cara Kimberly, administrative assistant of the JDAC and main planner for the auction event, this year’s event grossed the highest intake of funds of any previous auction with the sale of over 200 works. These funds being used to cover the costs of future visiting artists, equipment additions to facilities and/or student travel experiences within the department.
“It’ll be discussed in department meetings if faculty have an idea of something they would like to have,” Kimberly said about faculty members suggesting the allocation of the funds raised. “A trip to take the kids on, or whether it’s something a different piece of equipment or if it’s a visiting artist they want to have come in…on whether we spend the money on that at the time or not.”
Specific funds donated during the event will be used to cover the cost for the purchase of a spray booth in order to be added to the JDAC’s building facilities.
Differing from previous years, a committee was formed of community and college staff members in order to help bring in more suggestions on decisions for the event and serving as a source for community outreach in order to aid in publicizing the event to the public.
“We decided this year that we wanted to have a committee of community members not only to get the word out to more people but to also have a little bit more voice and ideas to grow the program itself,” Kimberly said.
Kimberly said that the community committee ultimately helps the auction become a self-sustaining event by reaching out to community partners for event sponsorship and not having the department rely solely on one donor, as it has in the past, and on the department’s funds.
Planning is already underway for next year’s auction, which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 14 where all students will be able to submit work and additional opportunities for community support will be available.