Framing Concepts Gallery in Chesterton was all abuzz Thursday evening. The sixth annual ARTability art auction took place there and many people came out to admire and bid on the eclectic displays of artwork that the clients from Opportunity Enterprises (OE) created.
Allison Thomas, Marketing and Communications Manager for OE, gave me a rundown on ARTability.
“Every year this is a huge hit with people. We have about 200 to 225 people that will come through every year. It’s a great selection of art. All of the art is collaborative between our clients and the art instructors at the art program. To date we have raised over $40, 000,” Thomas said proudly. “The best part about is that the clients get to see other people enjoying their art.”
The artwork being auctioned off was canvas work created by the clients in the art enrichment program of OE. There were also ceramics available for purchase (not a part of the auction). Bidders were able participate in the auction using bid-by-text technology provided by AuctionsByCellular. Proceeds from ARTabilty go to the art enrichment program, and the clients that created the artwork will receive a commission on each sale. That’s pretty sweet.
Ken Baur, owner of Framing Concepts Gallery has hosted ARTability for all six years.
“We frame the pieces that they make over the course of a year. So I think this year they did 65 paintings. We frame them, clean out our gallery and invite in all the people and all the proceeds go back to OE,” Baur said. “We benefit from this because our relationship with OE grows and people know that we helped them. ARTability draws awareness to what they do. Part of the idea of promoting ARTability is to make people aware of OE’s impact on the community.”
Carol Loesche, Enrichment Department Manager fro OE, was in attendance at ARTability and she was very pleased by all that was taking place.
“We have over 200 pieces of art made by around 100 clients from OE,” Loesche said. “The art department consists of four art instructors, so we are busy. This has worked out very well because Framing Concepts has been a great partner in this. Ken came to OE six years ago and presented this idea to us. And it’s just gone up from there.”
They also had another chance to support OE by heading next door to Ashley’s Jewelry be Design. Ten percent of the jewelry sales go back to OE as well.
Don’t you love options? Craig O’Brien, President of Ashley’s Jewelry by Design thought so. ARTability took place on the same night as Ladies Night at Ashley’s Jewelry by Design.
“Tonight, Friday and Saturday ten percent of our proceeds go back to Opportunity Enterprises,” O’Brien said. “It’s been about three or four years that we’ve been doing this. And it’s always on the Thursday before Thanksgiving so that people can come in and enjoy themselves without the stress of the holidays on them.”
The event was open to the public and admittance was free. Food and drinks were provided by some of Chesterton’s finest establishments. A lovely spread of appetizers was provided by Popolano’s and wine was provided by Butler Winery.
Unsold artwork will be at Framing Concepts Gallery throughout the holiday season.