The first of three Spokane Art School fund raisers will be Saturday night at the school and this benefit’s, well, for the birds.
Not literally, of course, since the purpose of the annual Birdhouse and Tea Garden Auction is to raise money for the art school’s programs rather than offer shelter for homeless birds. And, birds won’t end up living in most of the birdhouses auctioned at the event since many are not weatherproof.
About 100 themed pieces of art by regional artists will be auctioned at the sold-out event Saturday night. The art school follows this fund-raising effort with ArtFest on May 30 to June 1 on the grounds of Cheney Cowles Museum. The third big fund raiser is Yuletide, this year on Dec. 4-7.
Working with the bird theme, many artists simply created birdhouses for the event, but the entries represent the eclectic styles of the creators. Pat Boyd carved a hole in a gourd, etched the outside with a design and installed nesting material and small blue eggs. Tricia and Ed Florence created a birdhouse that resembles a dollhouse, complete with wallpaper, window boxes and resident insects. Nancy and Robert Griffin made a traditional birch birdhouse mounted on a birch limb post. Nila Brereton incorporated birch bark and feathers in a fiber birdhouse. Carolyn Stephens wove a birdhouse from the branches of a red twig dogwood and a willow.
Writer/artist Anita Endrezze, a veteran of this event and an enthusiastic bird watcher, contributed a painting that’s part of a series of paintings. “First and primarily I’m a writer; some of my writing has been about birds. But this painting is abstract, titled ‘An Atlas of a Natural World Quadrant 2: 1521 Cortez Burned the Aviaries in Mexico City,’ ” says Endrezze.
She will request the right from the buyer to use the painting in a book she is writing about the history of her Native American tribe, the Yaqui.
Other artists were less literal, or took inspiration from the tea garden angle of the auction. Mark Kubiak sculpted an abstract granite garden piece; Joan Kenyon created a bouquet of ceramic calla lilies; a Louise Kodis banner resembles leaves blowing in a breeze; Leata Judd made a terra cotta sun face, and Kimberley Taverniti-Martyn attached fruit, seed packets and garden tools to a bright red harvest wreath.
And, some artwork speaks to the theme hardly at all, such as a Susan Bradley bookcase painted with scenes from storybooks, MacKenzie Hawley’s painting of a red sofa or jewelry by artist Daris Judd.
“For last year’s auction we had more straight-ahead birdhouses,” says Spokane Art School director Sue Ellen Heflin. “This year there seems to be more garden art.”
The seventh annual event begins with hors d’oeuvres by A Catered Affair and wine at 6:30 p.m. The loud auction begins at 7:30 p.m.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: 2 Color photos
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: AUCTION The Spokane Art School Birdhouse and Tea Garden Auction will be held from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday at the school, 920 N. Howard. Tickets: $25 for general public, $20 for SAS members; only a few remain. Call 328-0900. out.
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