Marion Art Center hits fundraising goal

Aug 4, 2020

MARION — In one week the Art Center met its goal to fundraise $15,000, made new art owners very happy, and kept bidders safe with an online art auction.

Though the bidding was held through a screen, organizers appreciated the chance to meet bidders at a pickup event on Saturday.

“It was really fun,” to see who bid on what, organizer Wendy Cullum said. “And people were to happy when they picked up what they had won.”

The highest bid was for Saracen, a 1984 framed large oil painting by Boston artist Sandi Slone. It sold for $1,502.

With several other items, the end price wasn’t quite as high, but the ending bids were quite high compared to the starting bids.

The objects in the auction did particularly well, Cullum said.

Among them were a bust of Ulyssess that started at $400 and sold for $750, a small Swedish-style blue glass vase that started at  $20 and sold for $90, and a reproduction of an apothecary chest that started at $10 and had bids up to $125. Another popular item, an appliquéd Indian Banjarmasin tapestry started at $25 and sold for $100.

Also popular were items with a local touch, including a watercolor painting by Charlie Parsons of the Sippican Tennis Club that started at $300 and sold for $525, and an 1870 map of Marion that sold for $160 even though it was unframed.

Though not of Marion, another nautical oil painting by Joseph McGurl started at $50 and sold for $400.

Cullum said that over 80% of the 260 items in the auction sold.

Those that did not sell will either be returned to their donors, or if the donors said they do not want them, given to the Council on Aging for an upcoming yard sale.

“We are so grateful to donors and people who participated and the volunteers as well, there were a lot of people who took the time to help out,” Cullum said. 

In particular she thanked photographer Corinna Raznikov for offering five photo sessions and Karen Alves for also donating a photo shoot.

“The photography was so important,” Cullum said.

Though Cullum described the fundraiser as “born because of covid,” she made it clear the auction is here to stay, saying “for our first time we learned a lot. There are some changes we need to make for next year.”

Among those will be the display method for the auction items. Next year, when it is safer to have multiple people in the art center, organizers plan to have donated items on display for the whole week.