Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gallery does its bit

- Linda Jaquet -

The celebration of Women’s Day saw the Prince Albert Gallery host two auctions on the same evening. Apart from its annual and popular “30x40” Auction, now in its sixth year, the Gallery also held an auction to raise funds to help cover Richard Reinders’ medical bills.

Prince Albert’s artists, residents and businesses donated their artworks, crafts and all manner of things generously to be auctioned for the Reinders’ fund and the audience responded in like manner. They raised an amount of just over R12 000.

Earlier in the evening, first-time auctioneer, John Mckenna, persuaded the 100 or so strong crowd to dig deep into their pockets and bid on the 64 unsigned paintings entered in the “30x40” Auction. Part of the thrill of the Auction is not only guessing who produced an artwork but also discovering that you have unwittingly acquired a gem. Shaun van der Walt was determined to buy an oil painting called “New Day” and went on to outbid his competitors. He was overwhelmed to discover that his painting was a work by John de Smit and walked around for the rest of the evening looking like the Cheshire cat!

Neels Coetzee’s “Prince Albert Mountains” received the highest bid by Jan Rabie of R4 800. This was followed closely by Di Mclean’s “Bucket with Tap”, for which John Southern paid R4 100.

A percentage of the funds raised are donated to the art classes at Hoërskool Zwartberg. Artist, Helen Mudge, declined her commission and asked that the monies paid for her painting, The Angel of Mercy Brings the Tea, bought by Denise Ohlson, go directly to the school. Gallery owner, Brent Phillips-White, told the Friend: “We held our first "30x40" Auction to celebrate the first anniversary of the Gallery’s inception; it was such a surprising and resounding success that we've held it every year since then and are overwhelmed at the increasing level of support by both artists and prospective purchasers alike. We intend carrying on what has become an annual project.”

Hoërskool Zwartberg’s art teacher, Di Steyn, was delighted at another successful auction and at the generosity of both the Gallery and the artists, who participated. “As in past years, the donation we receive will go to a specific project that will benefit both the learners and the school,” she said.

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