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Annual auction gala gives you a way to style your home
“Blue Dish” by Esther Safford and “Stained Glass Lamp 1” by Kitty Glass, - photo by Tom Reed

31st annual Gala Art Auction

When: Preview party 6:30 p.m. today; auction 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St. NE, Gainesville
How much:
$10 for preview party, $125 per person for gala auction
More info:

If you’re looking to add a little color to your life, drop by the Quinlan Visual Arts Center this Saturday.

At the nonprofit art gallery’s annual Gala Art Auction you might find a nice piece to take home with you, plus you can help a good cause in the process.

The annual event, which actually starts tonight with a preview party and the opening of bidding on the silent auction, is one of the arts center’s major fundraisers for the year and, according to Executive Director Amanda Kroll, tickets are selling fast.

Today’s party will let prospective buyers get an up-close look at the pieces that will be up for auction on Saturday, and there will also be musical entertainment by classical musicians Benjamin Bunch and Krisztina Wajsza.

“He’s a classical guitarist and she’s a classical pianist,” Kroll said, adding that the married duo performs original pieces. “It’s very special.”

Admission to tonight’s event, which starts at 6:30, is $10.

Guests will have a chance to start bidding on silent auction items tonight, too, and bidding will continue on Saturday.

Kroll said all the pieces have been donated to the Quinlan for the fundraiser, and represent the cream of the crop of the center’s artist friends.

“We have beautiful works on paper, works on canvas, oil, pastel, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry, even wood turns,” she said. “The gala is neat because people put their best foot forward as far as an artist who are giving us pieces. It’s some of the best in each artist’s oeuvre, and on top of that it’s a nice mixture of all these different voices and styles.”

A committee selected the finest of the pieces for the live auction, to be held Saturday night. It’s a black-tie affair and tickets are $125 per person.

“At that event, people come and the silent auction goes in stages, and the live auction proceeds from 8:30,” Kroll said. “In the past we’ve had a pretty intense evening of artwork; we’ve really selected only the finest pieces in the live auction.”

Of course, when you’re picking out a selection of artworks from what’s already top quality, Kroll said you sometimes need some help.

“This year we engaged a committee,” she said, comprising people who are both familiar with the Quinlan and people who are familiar with the gala event. “We kind of drew on everyone’s experience to help us pick out (pieces). And since we had so many best pieces, we wanted to make sure there is a flow to it.”

The final piece of the evening? “Yellow Shade” by Dennis Campay. His abstract paintings of city scenes are well-known in the area and have been in exhibitions around the country, Kroll said.

“That is going to be our culminating piece, and we’re very fortunate to have Dennis as a friend of the Quinlan.”

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