Sunday, August 31, 2008

30 X 40 Auction Draws Record Number of Art Works

- Sonja Mckenna -

There is no doubt that the annual 30 X 40 art auction at the Prince Albert Gallery is one of Prince Albert’s cultural highlights. The crowd that attended this year’s auction on the evening of 9 August was proof of this.

A record number of paintings, 95, were submitted by many well-known artists living in our town and the other parts of the Karoo, as well as by several aspiring painters. Auction-goers were also excited to get a glimpse of Gregoire Boonzaaier’s portrait of the late Dr Jan van Heerden, which is now on view at the Gallery.

Gallery owners, Brent Phillips-White and Mary Anne Botha, commented that the standard of the works on offer improves every year.

The silent auction, which took place before the main auction, had many prospective buyers speculating as to who the artists were - the canvasses are unsigned.

Once the actual bidding began, quite a few paintings were highly contested, no doubt to the delight of the artists. “Last Light” by Neels Coetzee which sold for R6 100.00, earned the highest bid of the evening.

Several of the artists were at the auction and were introduced to the crowd as their paintings were sold. When asked why they had submitted paintings and also attended the event, some replied: “It’s a wonderful social occasion and it’s a chance to meet other artists.”

Others remarked: “It’s when artists can support the Gallery, which is open all year round for them”, while yet another felt that: “The auction gets one painting and is motivating and inspiring.”

Some of the newer artists said that they loved being displayed alongside the big names! All agreed that through the auction’s support of the Art Department at Hoërskool Zwartberg, they were doing something for the young people of Prince Albert.

Well done, Mary Anne and Brent, for another delightful evening and to Clive van Hasselt for his auctioneering skills.

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