Saturday evening I attended my third year of the Clemson Visual Arts Celebration. This is a fund raising event focused on raising awareness of the Visual Arts program at Clemson University with a goal of eventually building a new facility for this program.
As an MFA Graduate of this program it is my pleasure to support this event by attending and giving art work which is auctioned off in a silent auction. I've also purchased a number of beautiful works from other artists at this event.
This year there were two new elements added to the evening. First there was a group of works offered for sale which showcased the talents of the current group of BFA students. Drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints and ceramics items were all included and it was great fun to meet several of the students who gave their work and time to act as hosts for the event. What a great experience for them to mingle with supporters and potential collectors. It's also a great experience to have someone purchase your work because they appreciated the work on a level other than the love of a parent or other relative. I saw many smiling faces. The event allows artists to give full sale price of the work to the CVA or specify a portion of the sale to be contributed.
The second new element was a "Non-auction Auction". As funding for all programs has diminished, it has become more and more important to have multiple avenues of funding to allow for scholarships, workshops, travel and other professional experiences outside of the university. These are experiences many students just can't provide for themselves.
This auction began with the introduction of several students who shared with the audience how financial support for special activities had enriched their college experience. This was followed by an auction which allowed as many people as wanted to participate and contribute at various levels of support. The auctioneer, in true auctioneer style, announce a dollar value and if people wanted to contribute they raised their bidding cards and committed to contribute at that level. It started off slow but as people better understood the program they joined in. Very unique and I think successful for a first time CVA event.
How wonderful to see people in the community come together to support ART and art education.
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