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Auction Heat


It may only be February but we’re busy planning for the 2015 Penland Benefit Auction–our 30th–to be held August 7 and 8th at Penland. Tickets can be purchased online here.


This year, glass artist and Penland trustee Tim Tate will be leading a collecting group from the Alliance for Contemporary Glass to the Benefit Auction–and glass will be centerstage with works commissioned by glass artists Susan Taylor Glasgow and one-of-a-kind table centerpieces by Sally Prasch. For previews of these works and many more in the coming months, please sign up for our auction e-newsletters here or join our auction event page on Facebook here.



Tim Tate, Maybe She Dreams of Rivers, cast glass, video, 18 x 24 inches. Featured work of the 2015 Penland Benefit Auction. Retail value: $12,000.00


For those of you who may not receive our auction e-newsletters, we wanted to share this month’s edition featuring Tim Tate’s glass and video work Maybe She Dreams of Rivers, seen above.  Glenn Adamson, director of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, writes about Tate and this particular work in the essay below. (We’ve also included the video component of the work following the essay.)


Tim Tate by Glenn Adamson

“Last year, I attended my first Penland auction. Of the many great pleasures involved in the event, none was greater than meeting Tim Tate. A figure of Falstaffian charisma, Tate lit up the tent with his humor and heart. I was glad to discover that his work lives up to the man. He is that rare artist who combines true generosity of spirit with a razor-sharp intellectual acuity. By putting glass together with video, one of the art world’s most apparently traditional media with its most apparently progressive, he shows that such oppositions are in fact groundless. Any medium has the potential to support new ideas – and Tim Tate has plenty of new ideas to go around.


In the case of Maybe She Dreams of Rivers, he offers an interpretation of a classic artistic theme, Shakespeare’s Ophelia. One thinks immediately of John Everett Millais’ Pre-Raphaelite treatment of the subject, a fragile maiden floating face-up in the weeds, her hands spread in a gesture of eternal prayer. Tate’s version is less sentimental, yet I find it even more haunting. Ophelia floats slowly from side to side, doubled as if caught in the slippery slide from life into death.


Interestingly, Tate has imagined the doomed heroine dreaming of her own fate–captured permanently in a virtual state. As he notes, our relationship to technology is just as destabilizing today as it was in Victorian times, when the skies filled with industrial smoke and trains first churned their way across the landscape. Our encounters with technology are more private, often occurring within the small dimensions of a touch screen. Yet they are no less unsettling, conveying us across time and space in a constant frictionless glide. In Ophelia, he has found an ideal personification of this state of perpetual drift. Shimmering in her ornate surroundings, viewed as if through a glass darkly, she holds a mirror up twenty-first-century life, lived all too often at one remove.”


Dreaming Of Ophelia from Tim Tate on Vimeo.