NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

May 30, 2013

Art and more on tap at annual auction

An “Artful Feast” is on the menu for the Newburyport Art Association’s 12th annual fine art auction next weekend.

Running from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, the event features both silent and live auctions along with Champagne, wine and hors d’oeuvres.

The major fundraiser for the organization, it benefits exhibition, education and community outreach programming.

Last year’s event raised $32,000, and NAA Executive Director Elena Bachrach said they hope to top that goal this year.

“There’s a true variety of work,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for the art lover to find some real value.”

The silent auction offers more than 50 art and non-art items, including a family season pass to the Attitash Mountain Village Resort in New Hampshire, Celtics tickets paired with a year’s supply of Sam Adams beer, tickets to museums and the Firehouse Center for the Arts, and a variety of restaurant gift certificates.

The live auction includes more than 80 lots of contemporary and 20th-century art donated by member artists, who can choose to donate 50, 75 or 100 percent of the winning bid to the association, Bachrach said.

A special item in this year’s auction is Donald Jurney’s painting “From Captain Emery’s, High Street, toward the Merrimack, ca. 1802.” Jurney is an NAA member and Newburyport resident whose work is featured in museums throughout the country and widely collected internationally.

“He very generously came to me with this donation,” said Bachrach, who added that the painting has a fair market value of $12,000.

Jurney said he chose this particular piece because of its local setting and because the auction “offered the best chance for the painting to remain in Newburyport.”

“I decided to make this painting for fun, eagerly anticipating the challenge of painting a historical scene from my imagination,” he said. “The prospect I chose, as I imagine it may have been, is from the house of Captain Emery on High Street, looking down to his wharves, and the Merrimack, on a quiet, moonlit night.

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