The annual MAC Art Auction, set for Saturday night at the Davenport Hotel, will look a little different this year.
Sure, there will be plenty of works by locally and regionally known artists – Sister Paula Turnbull, the late George Flett, Harold Balazs, Kay O’Rourke, Ric Gendron, Mel McCuddin and Melissa Cole. But this year, there are fewer total works in the auction, and that’s by design, said Forrest Rodgers, executive director of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.
Entries this year were juried by Chris Bruce, director of the Museum of Art at Washington State University in Pullman.
“The Art Auction Committee consulted with a number of local and regional artists and concluded that the way to guarantee the best available art for patrons and the way to acknowledge the works of artists was to have an objective juror review all submissions,” Rodgers said. “This is a way of avoiding any appearance of favoritism to any artist, and we have made every effort to treat every entry as equitably as possible. For the artists, it’s an additional point of recognition that their work is accepted into a juried show.
About 70 artists have contributed art to the auction – some multiple pieces – and the MAC will receive either all or half of the sale price. Proceeds, Rodgers said, will benefit the MAC’s mission to celebrate art created by regional artists or art that includes regional themes, and will help bring traveling shows to the museum and support the art acquisition fund.
“We’re very excited that we’ve elevated both the quality of art and the diversity of genres,” Rodgers said. “We like to think there’s something for everyone.”