On one of the busiest, event-filled weekends in Penticton since the start of the pandemic, the city’s art gallery still managed to raise over $45,000 during its first in-person auction since 2019 on Saturday, June 25.
Joined by the Elvis Festival and Peach City Beach Cruise, the Penticton Art Gallery held its 45th annual auction this weekend, doing so in support of public outreach and art education programming.
“Certainty, I think we were impacted by all that was going on in town, but it worked out in the end,” said Paul Crawford, the gallery’s curator. “I’m just grateful that people are back and engaged in community events and supporting all these things, ourselves included.”
A pair of Andy Warhol prints by Sunday B. Morning were among the highest-selling items, combining to raise a total of $10,000 alone. Much to the disappointment of Crawford, however, one item didn’t sell during the Saturday auction.
“I was really sorry that James Irwin’s NASA flight-worn suit didn’t sell,” Crawford explained. “I’ve had interest from auction houses in the United States and we’ll do well with it there but it just would be nice to see it stay in Canada.”
Still, Crawford added that dozens of people went home happy and that event’s return to the community was a huge success.
With over $45,000 raised, the gallery did something it hasn’t done since 2019 — organize an in-person community-wide gathering for the purpose of celebrating local art.
“It makes me feel like we’re back on track for a recovery of some sorts,” Crawford said. “It was nice to see that energy in Penticton this weekend, so being part of that was very special.”
All proceeds raised from the auction will go to supporting exhibitions, public outreach and art education programming. A two-person flight voucher to any WestJet location was also awarded to one randomly selected donor.
“For a lot of people involved, it was time they’d ever worked this kind of event,” Crawford added. “I think we did remarkably well, all things considering.”