As the sun rises in the early hours of Saturday, May 14, artists will take to favorite outdoor locations all over the Hudson Valley, tools of their trade in hand, to capture what they see, and ‘bring it back alive.’ From that perfectly imperfect leaf, to those oft-rendered Hudson vistas, each artwork is bound for the same eventual destination—the tent at Garrison’s Landing—to be auctioned off in late afternoon at Garrison Art Center’s twice-annual “Artists on Location” event.
Held each year in spring and fall, this signature Art Center event is a major fundraiser and community pleaser, and has the added benefit of assisting both the Art Center and the artists. Now in its 28th year, the Artists on Location events, together with two other fundraisers, generate, according to Art Center Executive Director Carinda Swann, “at least 30 to 40 percent of our overall budget. Without them we couldn’t have our programs. And the nice thing is that it supports regional artists and you get a painting as well.” The Art Center and the artists do a 50/50 split of the proceedings.
The parameters of the event are straightforward. Up to 85 artists are invited to apply to participate. They agree to register at 7 a.m. that day, then set forth for their Hudson Valley location of choice, and return to the Art Center no later than 2 p.m. with their completed artwork. In addition, they may submit previous work for the concurrent Silent Auction, which begins on the same day, and runs until May 22 – just over a week with over 100 works. The individual artists select the opening bid amount for the silent auction paintings, which are exhibited in the Art Center’s galleries during that week, with bid sheets. Bids may be made in person or over the phone during the following week, with the auction ending at 5 p.m. on the 22nd. People can call the Art Center at any time until then to check the status of their bid.
The live auction draws nearly 300 arts patrons who battle it out in good fun, with auctioneers George Lowry and Nicholas Lowry, chairman and president of the Board, respectively, of Swann Galleries in New York City. Swann Galleries specializes in photographs, posters, prints and drawings as well as books, maps, atlases and autographs. Garrison Art Center has been fortunate that the Lowrys have been generously volunteering their considerable knowledge and auctioneering talents for nearly 15 years. Many will recognize Nicholas from Antiques Road Show where he regularly offers his expertise to hopeful collectors. After the lively auction, with the majestic Hudson River as a backdrop, 80 something patrons go home with a masterful painting for a fraction of the cost in galleries.
The Garrison Art Center is located on Garrison’s Landing, in Garrison, N.Y. 845-424-3960.
“Tugboat in Garrison” courtesy of GAC
Photo by A. Rooney