Penland School of Craft announces its 35th Annual Benefit Auction, which, for the first time, will take place entirely online. A silent auction runs Saturday, August 1, through Friday, August 7, followed by a streaming live auction with online bidding at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 8.
“Our annual benefit auction is our largest fundraising event of the year, and it generates a significant amount of revenue for our programs,” says Penland School communications and marketing director Robin Dreyer. “This year, with our workshops and events cancelled, it’s a welcome chance for us to connect with the community of people who love our school and value handmade objects.”
The auction features several hundred works in clay, glass, metals, textiles, wood and other media donated by current and former Penland instructors, resident artists and core fellows. Items include a gold-leafed chair festooned with fresh flowers by woodworker Annie Evelyn; a sculptural steel box by Dan Neville; and a statement necklace by North Carolina artist Tara Locklear made mostly from recycled skateboard decks.
Special online exhibitions curated by the Penland Gallery will take place throughout the auction week. In the weeks prior, Penland will post a series of videos highlighting various artists. Auction tickets are $50, which includes an online bidding account and a printed catalog, or $100 for an online bidding account, a printed catalog, a handmade, commemorative mug and party favors for those who would like to watch the live auction with friends.
“We decided early on to replicate a live auction online, which has turned out to be a bit of a technological challenge,” says Dreyer. “We’re practicing a lot, and we think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”