With November already underway and the holidays quickly approaching, the Craft Center is hosting its 10th annual Gallery Staff Show and Silent Auction.
Located in the South Silo, the Craft Center currently has pieces donated by instructors and volunteers available for sale in a silent auction format. These pieces will be open for bidding through Dec. 2.
“This year we have a T-shirt quilt, photography, stained glass and glass fusing. We are really heavy on ceramics. We have received tons of donations,” said Jan Garrison, coordinator at the Craft Center.
Each year, Craft Center affiliates donate pieces to be sold in the show. Over four weeks, the crafts are open for bidding. Anyone can place a bid on items. On the final day of the show, Dec. 2, everything is opened up in a live auction format.
In celebration of this final day, the Craft Center hosts a reception, in which Jared Tolla, the assistant director, serves as the auctioneer.
“It is fun being the auctioneer. I know lots of people who crafted the pieces, so I have behind-the-scenes knowledge,” Tolla said.
At this reception, the piece will go to the highest bidder. For the artists, it is an opportunity to put their work on the market.
“It’s nice to have people check out your pieces. It’s also a lot less stress than selling work myself, and you get to find out what other people are willing to pay for your work. It’s surprising to see what some things end up going for at auction,” said Jennifer Rutherford, an artist in the show, as well as a volunteer and sewing and glass instructor at the Craft Center.
For this year, Rutherford has contributed small mosaic glass-fused plates and a decoupaged box.
This is also a unique opportunity for all members of the community to benefit. While students and patrons can purchase handmade pieces, artists also get a chance to appreciate both their work and the work of others.
“We all like to go around looking at everyone’s stuff. I also like it when someone puts up something ‘big’ at the auction that sets off a massive bidding war and everyone wonders who is going to get it. I’ve seen some high bids for a custom doll that incorporated something from every craft at the Craft Center, a large robot sculpture and fancy glass jellyfish done by one of the instructors. I expect this year’s Craft Center T-shirt blanket and the ‘Day of the Dead’ Craft Center diorama that Jan made are going to go for a lot of money. I know I’ll be putting in a token bid even if I can’t afford them by the end of the final night,” Rutherford said.
Not only is this an opportunity for artists to sell their work and see how much it will actually sell for, but all of the proceeds support the Craft Center. According to Tolla, artists are often surprised at how much their work sells for.
“We use the funds for things that will benefit the majority of the Craft Center,” Tolla said. “We often buy books, so that anyone who comes in can benefit from the proceeds.”
DANIELLE HUDDLESTUN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.