Now that the confetti has settled, we’re excited to revisit this summer’s 35th Annual Penland Benefit Auction. It was certainly one to remember—we swapped out tents and live bidding for online auctions and livestreams—but the heart and friends and community at the center of it all remained rock solid. And we’re happy to report that it was quite a success, too!
Thanks to you and the many, many artists, volunteers, supporters, and attendees who contributed to this year’s festivities, we raised a whopping $378,518 to support Penland’s creative programming. Here are a few more facts for all you quantitative-leaning number lovers:
- 177 pieces up for bidding
- 186 donating artists
- 363 registrations
- $193466 raised in art sales
- $103,235 raised towards our $100,000 Fund-A-Need goal
- $296,587 in net proceeds!
But we’re artists at heart, you know? And a picture is worth a thousands words, so we thought we’d summarize the fun with a few highlights from our livestream as well. Thanks to all who tuned in and made it such a memorable celebration!
1. A Penland Production—Party clothes on, masks up, and we’re ready to go! (Also please note the “Lost and Found” box painted in The Pines fireplace as part of the set)
2. First piece—We kicked off the bidding with Lauren, a lidded stoneware jar by Dan Finnegan. Look at that expressive eye!
3. Playing with scale—As a fun nod to featured artist Annie Evelyn’s practice of constructing models of her furniture ideas, we auctioned off Annie’s Golden Windsor Flower Chair in miniature.
4. Let’s hear it for our hosts!—Auction co-hosts Jesse Miller and SaraBeth Post led the bidding and kept the energy high all afternoon. Here they are trying out James D.W. Cooper’s Two Wheel Bench.
5. Fund-A-Need—Penland student, studio assistant, former staff member, and neighbor Shae Bishop introduced the fund to support pandemic-related updates to the Penland campus and studios—and quickly helping us surpass our $100,000 goal!
6. A peek into a blacksmith’s studio—During this short video about featured artist Dan Neville, we got a window into his process and the inspirations behind his piece Footing Box.
7. How’s the weather?—The rainbow auction umbrellas made a quick appearance, despite the watertight ceiling at Northlight.
8. “Everyday Jewelry”—After a short video about featured artist Tara Locklear, we got to see a close-up view of her stunning Graduated Golden Teardrop Collet—made from recycled skateboard decks!
9. The final few pieces—We couldn’t resist this shot of Katherine Gray’s blown glass candelabra against the backdrop of Eleanor Anderson’s colorful weaving. These two pieces were followed up by bidding on the final item, an elegant brass and silver container by Adam Whitney and Seth Gould.
10. Clappers and confetti—We pulled out all the celebratory stops at the end of the bidding, including the Penland clappers from last summer’s live auction under the tent!
11. Just kidding, there’s more—We decided to pop a few bottles of champagne to mark the occasion, too! (If you watched the livestream, you may remember this was not quite as easy as we’d anticipated…)
12. That’s all, folks—A big THANK YOU wave to everyone out there watching and supporting and cheering Penland on from afar. You all are the heartbeat that keeps this place alive, and for that we are ever grateful!
And finally, though he was not part of the livestream itself, we can’t finish this post without recognizing longtime auction volunteer and photographer extraordinaire, David Ramsey. In addition to photographing all the work for the catalog, he took on this year’s new challenge of creating 115 short videos to show the 3D pieces in the round.
Want to see more or relive the auction fun? The entire livestream is still available to watch right here.