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'Wild and crazy auction' to benefit art students
Organizers of an upcoming art auction and dinner promise their event will be anything but “stuffy.”
Rather, they predict attendees will have a “wild and crazy” time while also supporting art education in the community.
The Yuma Area Art Educators Association Annual Art Auction and Dinner takes place Saturday at the Yuma Civic Center.
The dinner starts at 5 p.m. and will be prepared — fittingly — by a guy named Art Everett and will include a main course, dessert and beverage.
The auction follows at 6 p.m. and is a lot of fun, says Judy Phillips, association member and fused glass artist.
“Chuck Nordquist has been our auctioneer, and he's got a vivacious, fun way about him, so the auction is not the stuffy traditional auction. It's a wild and crazy auction.”
The purpose of the event is to raise funds for art scholarships to be awarded to local art students.
Elementary school students can win scholarships for art supplies; middle school and undergraduate students, vouchers and gift certificates to buy their own art supplies; and graduating seniors and college students, scholarships that range from $500 to $1,500.
Original works of art to be auctioned include fine photography, paintings, jewelry, glass, ceramic, fiber arts and sculptures. Art items are donated by local art educators and artists.
“We usually average around 60 pieces that we auction,” Phillips says. “Each year there is a theme, and often the work revolves around that theme.”
This year's theme is “A Shady Deal,” says Morgan Evans, art and ceramic teacher at Gila Ridge High School. A potter and jewelry maker, she is donating several of her necklaces to the auction.
Another donor is Linda Willets, an art advocate and photographer who does digitally embellished photo art. She is donating a close shot of two sunflowers and a wide shot of a hot air balloon over a lettuce field.
“This is the third year that I have participated,” Willets says. “I think helping the students get a scholarship is important because art in the schools is diminishing and that's something that we need to keep in there. They've had studies showing that children who do art do much better in school.”
There is art for every budget.
Tom Cabral, art teacher at C.W. McGraw Elementary School and multimedia artist, usually donates a number of pins (brooches) to sell for $5 each at the auction. This year, he's donating 20 pins and three other items, some of which are made with pencils his students have saved for him.
“We also have a 50-50 raffle that's even less expensive, so everyone can get in on the prize” he says.
The art auction and dinner has been an annual event for over 25 years although no one remembers exactly when it began, Phillips says. “It's really great to have artists donate their work for future artists or future art educators.”
Two past recipients of the art scholarships, Jose Dorame and Holly Hendrick-Jones, are now local art educators, and hundreds of other recipients have gone on to teach or become professional artists in other areas of the country, she adds.
Naomi Pullen, association president and art teacher at Kofa High School, says the association is grateful for the support from the community.
“We really appreciate their help, even if they just come and eat and possibly buy a pin. Anything helps. The students really look forward to this. Students who have been awarded the same scholarships have come back in the past year and told me how appreciative they were for the funds to help them through college.”
Dinner tickets cost $15 at the door and may also be purchased in advance. For advance ticket information, call the Yuma Art Center at 373-5202. And for more information about the association and/or the event, call Judy Phillips at 580-7417.