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Quinlan gala should be affair to remember
Upcoming gala culminates in organization's biggest fundraiser
“Necklace of Blues and Greens” by Sheila Giddens features aventurine, turquoise and silver with a hand-blown glass pendant. - photo by Tom Reed

Pizza at an art auction?

It may be more laid back than the fare at most art soirees, but Amanda Kroll, gallery director at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center, said that’s just what they were going for when they planned Wednesday’s preview party for the 32nd Annual Gala Art Auction.

“This year, we are going to have two preview parties, and we are trying to give the opportunity for gala to a wider audience of people,” Kroll said.

You can visit the Quinlan between Friday and March 5 to get a free sneak peek at the art up for auction at the gala, which will be held March 6.

Silent auction bids open Wednesday at a preview party featuring the aforementioned pizza, a la Mellow Mushroom, and the Stephen Lee Band, a contemporary rock group.

“If you can’t come to gala, you can come to the preview parties, so there’s more opportunity for people to get to experience the art that we’re showing in whatever venue that they’re comfortable with,” said Kroll. “Some people are more comfortable with pizza and rock music, and some people like jazz.”

Bids continue March 4 at another preview party, which will feature more traditional hors d’oeuvres and live jazz by the Kim Chamberlain Duo.

You can also see live auction items at both preview parties, and the events will culminate with the live auction at the gala, a black-tie affair set for March 6.

Kroll said there are limited tickets available for the gala.

Professional artists donate work to the Quinlan for the event, which is the center’s largest, most important fundraiser, Kroll said.

“We are very fortunate in this community to have such an active artist base, and to have so many artists that are very talented,” said Kroll. “Their loyalty and commitment to what we do here is really astounding, and there are so many artists that just give us work to sell, so that we can continue to do what we do and provide programs to the North Georgia community.”
Kroll said a range of mediums will be represented in the auction, including oil paintings, still lifes, ceramics, jewelry, bronze and abstract works.

“What’s nice about it is, for our patrons that are coming to purchase artwork, there is something suited to every taste, from the traditional to contemporary,” she said.

Artists who will be featured at the gala include Dennis Campay, Ferdinand Rosa, Roseta Santiago, Cheryl Hardin and Carol Roddenberry.

Kroll said the gala is a tradition for the Quinlan that center organizers wanted to share with a more diverse audience.

“We’ve been doing it for 32 years, so it’s one of the mainstays of our organization,” said Kroll. “It’s really so much fun, and the artwork is of such a high caliber, it would be a shame to keep it, kind of, a secret. We want to make sure that everyone knows about it, and has an opportunity to enjoy it.”