Marion Art Center opens art auction, gives public a preview

Jul 24, 2020

MARION — The Art Center opened its online auction at 9 a.m. on July 24, and then briefly made it more concrete later that day by displaying all 197 items in and around its building. 

The auction replaces the art center’s usual Cocktails by the Sea with a safer alternative amid the coronavirus pandemic. Works range in media from posters to miniature wicker furniture. 

Also included in the auction are 60 “make a bid” items, which have no starting bid included. 

Asked how the in-person event was going, organizer Wendy Cullum said that attendance was steady, and most importantly the event was safe. 

She hoped that a few interested bidders would attend after work. 

“I an thrilled that people have started bidding. I don’t want people to wait until the last minute,” Cullum said. 

At the end of the first day, the highest bid was $550 for an abstract painting by John Havens Thornton.

Joyce Tower volunteered at the event, helping to inform viewers about oil paintings and some of the auction’s fabric works. 

“It’s amazing how many people donated, including one today!” Tower said. 

She said after days of removing works from the art center’s basement studio to its second floor studio to photograph them, seeing the artwork nicely displayed outside the Art Center made her “really appreciate it at a different level.” 

The auction will remain open until July 31 at 7 p.m. Bidders must register at to place a bid. 

Interested bidders who missed the live showing may contact the Marion Art Center for a private showing of any works they are interested in.