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June 5, 2014

'Artists wait for this'

NAA's annual auction features works to suit all tastes

The Newburyport Art Association is on the cusp of its annual spring auction, the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Branded as the “Artful Feast,” the event will feature both a live and silent auction of artwork and donated services.

More than 100 artists from Newburyport to as far as Boston and southern Maine have contributed their works to both auctions, while a number of businesses are offering items such as gift certificates, getaways, and Celtics and Red Sox tickets to be sold to the highest bidder.

Artists split the proceeds with the NAA, choosing ahead of time to give 50, 75 or 100 percent of the money to the organization. According to Executive Director Elena Bachrach, more than half of the artists chose 100 percent this year. Last year’s auction raised $39,000.

While Bachrach and her colleagues curate the works to be auctioned, they constantly search for variety, she said. The works in Saturday’s auction run the gamut from abstract paintings to nature photography to modern sculpture, a deliberate mix of the association’s talent base.

“What I love about the work that I do is the diversity that I encounter,” Bachrach said. “I think it’s an incredibly rich, vibrant, active artist community, and a very collaborative one, which makes the work that much more joyful. ... I see that reflected in the demographics among the artists: men, women, retired, working, young. ... It’s across the board.”

When it’s not planning events, the NAA provides classes to beginning artists. Young artists share space with middle-aged adults and retirees who are turning their hands to the brush for the first time.

“What’s fascinating to me is that they all have such different life stories,” Bachrach said. “That creative passion comes from so many different places, you really cannot generalize in that sense. I love that about this community.”

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