Art and sculpture wow attendees, raise record funds for BRLT

Tue, 08/08/2023 - 3:00pm

Two hundred attendees gathered on a stormy Friday night at the Boothbay Playhouse for Boothbay Region Land Trust’s quadrennial Art Auction, which netted over $100,000 to benefit land conservation and public access in the Boothbay Region. The sold-out event was the culmination of the Land Trust’s Art for Acres series, which included a Stone Symposium and Art Preview. The evening featured both live and silent auctions with 66 works of art ranging from paintings and sculptures, to jewelry, photography, and much more.

The auction was originally to be held under a tent at the Land Trust’s Oak Point Farm. However, the forecast of heavy rain, thunder and lightning necessitated a quick pivot just 48 hours before the scheduled event. Boothbay Playhouse Weddings generously donated their newly-renovated space for the evening. Staff and volunteers worked swiftly to adjust plans, wrap and move art, and prepare the space for a dynamic event. Guests were commendably flexible and understanding, arriving at the event under rainy skies.

The intensifying storm outside seemed to match the energy of the room which only grew stronger as the evening progressed. Attendees enjoyed cocktails and appetizers as they bid on silent auction items early in the evening. Two classical musicians with Vigorous Tenderness provided music for the cocktail and dinner hours. Following a full meal catered by Seacoast Catering and Lobster Bakes, auctioneer John Bottero kicked-off the live auction portion of the event with much anticipation. Bottero, with over 30 years of auctioneering experience, led the auction with enthusiasm and insight that kept the energy high, at times inviting artists in attendance to share their perspective on their craft.

The top selling paintings of the evening included “A Soft Morning,” by Donald Demers and “Daylilies at Oak Point Farm” by Brad Betts. Top selling sculptures included Andreas von Huene’s “Eagle” and “Trout,” as well as John Catizone’s symposium sculpture, “Sounding.”

While many established artists generously participated in the auction, a number of young artists also showcased their work, some for the first time. The successful sale of Grant Auber’s “Dancer 1” swiftly generated commission work for the up-and-coming artist. Sculptor Joseph DiMauro, who previously interned during the 2018 Maine Stone Workers Guild Stone Symposium, this year sold two beautiful sculptures including his 13-foot tall symposium piece, “Seeking Aperture”. For a number of artists working to establish themselves, Art for Acres and the auction offered opportunities for exposure and networking that will support their growing careers.

“Art for Acres has been an incredible event that has benefited the entire community,” organizer and Development Director, Skye Wood explains. “Hundreds of people had the opportunity to view and appreciate the art of our region, while also learning about and experiencing the art of sculpting. We believe that the interaction between nature and art will build greater appreciation for both art and nature. The funds raised will directly support the ongoing mission of Boothbay Region Land Trust to conserve the natural habitat and scenic beauty of our region for everyone.”

Since 1991, Boothbay Region Land Trust has hosted an art auction every four years, which has grown in support and scale ever since. The collaboration between artists and Boothbay Region Land Trust is one that promotes the incredibly creative and talented arts community while also supporting the work of the Land Trust. Art for Acres would not have been possible without the generous support of lead sponsor, Tindal and Callahan Real Estate, as well Auction Sponsors Knickerbocker Group, Midcoast Hospitality, First National Bank, Studio 53, Back Meadow Farm, and Rockport Granite.