Mass Art Auction This Saturday Night

For budding art collectors and established connoisseurs alike, this is a not-to-be-missed event.


William Wegman, Mother/Daughter, 1994/2009
Archival Pigment Print, Estimated value: $5,000, Courtesy of the artist and Panopticon Gallery

Going once, going twice…Sold! MassArt’s 24th annual auction is this Saturday, April 13. Featuring the work of 320 artists, the majority of which Massachusetts College of Art and Design alumni,  faculty, and students, the show provides a stunning window onto the quality and variety of work being done at MassArt, and around New England. And the best part: It’s all up for sale.


Gerry Bergstein, Colossus, 2004, Oil on Canvas, 12 in x 20 in (30.48 cm x 50.8 cm)
Estimated value: $3,000, Courtesy of Gretchen Keyworth

Last year, the auction raised $720,000 for student scholarships and academic programming, says Dani Stefanik, Associate Director of Fundraising Events, and they hope to beat that this weekend. To help get the bid out, MassArt has teamed up with Paddle 8, an online auction site created specifically for visual art. Stefanik says the platform will help them reach out to a larger community by allowing bidders from anywhere in the world. That won’t hurt attendance–the live  auction sells out every year.


Sol LeWitt, Curvy Brushstrokes I, 1997, Color Etching with Sugarlift and Aquatint, 40 in x 15 in (101.6 cm x 38.1 cm), Estimated value: $7,500

Even for young collectors, this isn’t one to miss. The downstairs exhibition space features pieces for the silent auction, including a dizzying array of paintings, photographs, sculpture, ceramics, and video.In the upstairs gallery, 38 pieces chosen by the jury for the live auction. They include a gorgeous Alex Katz screen print, a William Wegman, a Sol Lewitt, and more to see and bid on. You can preview the auction through April 11 at the Bakalar & Paine Galleries.


Erin Riley, Nudes 7, Hand Woven Wool Tapestry, 31 in x 42 in (78.74 cm x 106.68 cm), Courtesy of the artist, Estimate $1,500.

One of my favorite pieces is a hand-woven wool tapestry by MassArt alumna Erin Riley. The traditional handwork depicts a partially nude woman taking a picture of herself in the mirror with her Smartphone (shown here). It was, like much of the artwork, thought-provoking, original and inspired. For an online preview of all the pieces up for auction, click here.