NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

June 5, 2014

'Artists wait for this'

NAA's annual auction features works to suit all tastes

(Continued)

Visitors without artistic inclinations are also invited for lectures, gallery walks and demonstrations of various techniques.

The NAA also relies heavily on the hands-on work of volunteers, with a number of art aficionados giving their time to the “Artful Feast” fundraiser. Around 40 volunteers are helping transport, hang and sell the artwork.

Artist Sara Demrow Dent is one such volunteer. She was enlisted well ahead of time to arrange the artwork that will eventually be sold off.

“The auction’s really great,” Demrow Dent said. “It’s exciting because the artists really give their best work to the auction. It’s not like somebody’s dragging something out of the attic.

“Artists wait for this, they know it’s a big event for the NAA and they give their best work,” she said. “There are so many beautiful options to choose from in all price ranges.”

Demrow Dent has been a member of the NAA for more than a decade and has served on its board of directors for the past month. She’s also a professional painter of landscapes, seascapes and poetry-inspired abstraction, including a piece called “My Beautiful Anchor” that will be available on Saturday.

While similar works retail for $1,500, Demrow Dent said she hopes she can bring in more than that to support the NAA and its programs.

For this year’s event, Bachrach has enlisted sponsorship from a number of art-loving organizations in the area, including Re/Max on the River and Oregano Pizzeria and Ristorante.

Oregano owner Paul Elias is a longtime patron of the NAA, having attended auctions for nearly half a decade. This year, he was approached as a sponsor for the first time.

“I said, ‘You know what? That’s the least I can do,’” Elias said. “My wife and I love the whole culture and the whole art scene, it adds value to your life. ... I love what they add to the city.”

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