The Annual Auction at Arena gallery has become a popular pre-christmas event both for serious art collectors and others who are just looking for gift ideas. Artists donate work(s) so its not going to be their best stuff, all the proceeds go to fund Arena projects.
The evening didn’t get off to a great start for me as the promised mulled wine didn’t materialise but still plenty of normal wine and beer in exchange for donations (i.e. dead cheap). There were over 50 lots to be auctioned and the man with the gavel was Dr Paul O’Keefe who was very entertaining, the large crowd of bidders were in good spirits, joking, heckling and cheering if a price went above £100. Most items went for between £15 and £40, the highest was £160 for a large colourful canvas by Louise Wilkie.
There was also a raffle, the first prize was a christmas tree decorated with Yoko Ono nipple badges. They guy who won it now has the problem of getting it home.
Of course, I hadn’t intended to bid for anything but got carried away by it all and managed to secure a very nice ink drawing by Paul Elliker who had a painting in the recent John Moores exhibition and a scarf (‘art for the neck’) by the up-and-coming local fashion designers Regina & Sarah.