By Keri Luiz
The walls of Arts Benicia are covered with the work of artists from the community and beyond that will be auctioned Saturday in Arts Benicia’s 21st annual Benefit Art Auction, the nonprofit’s biggest fundraiser that supports the exhibitions, educational programs and classes it offers around the calendar.
It’s not just one of Arts Benicia’s biggest events — “It’s one of the biggest social events of the year in Benicia,” Executive Director Larnie Fox said. “It’s a huge chunk of our annual budget. We depend on it and depend on the generosity of our artists.”
Fifteen pieces will be part of the live auction and 66 will be bid on in a silent auction. All, Fox said, are “just beautiful. It’s a real nice, diverse show. We’ve got everything from figure drawing to cardboard collage, to etchings. Fiber art, paintings, a little bit of glass, a little bit of ceramics, some really nice jewelry from Peg Jackson, a wooden relief from Jack Ruszell …” and the list goes on.
Among the pieces donated are a couple monoprints by late artist Bill Harsh, donated by his wife, Marilyn Bardet.
Moreover, an Arts Benicia community member, Loretta Ose, is putting together 14 adventure packages as part of the silent auction. “Various collections of goods and services from local merchants, bottles of champagne,” Fox said. “They’re going to be beautiful and there’s going to be a fair amount of these things.”
Steve Gizzi, of Gizzi & Reep LLP, will serve as the auctioneer for the evening’s events, and Elaine Eisner, chair of the Arts and Culture Commission, will be the emcee. Photographer Michael Van Auken will take pictures in a complimentary photo booth — “very nice, high quality digital images that people will get, and he always has some kind of fun thing for them to do. We really encourage people to take advantage of that,” Fox said.
“People have had a lot of fun with it.”
The Rellik Tavern will be there to pour signature cocktails, along with wine and beer, and hors d’oeuvres will be provided by First Street Café. Entertainment will be live jazz by Greg Reginato.
Images for both live and silent auction items are on Arts Benicia’s Facebook page. Tickets will be available at the door the night of the event, which begins at 6:30 p.m.
Fox made sure to give credit to some of the people who have been working hard on getting the auction put together.
“Cherry Moore is heading the committee. She’s worked very, very hard, along with our staff member Laura Buchan. Pat Hall is in charge of the live auction, and Barrie Robinson is in charge of the silent auction.”
If You Go
Arts Benicia’s 21st annual Benefit Art Auction is Sept. 21, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Benicia Clock Tower, 1189 Washington St. Tickets are $45 per person, or $80 for a couple. Drink tickets come in $5 increments. Tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of the event.