A work of art doesn’t have to be grand in scale to stir up some buzz and make a bold statement.
Artworks Center for Contemporary Art in Loveland will host its sixth annual Square Foot Auction this weekend. The center’s largest fundraiser features work of all different mediums — each 1 square foot in size — from local creatives and those residing outside of Colorado.
“The concept was conceived of with the idea that we could offer small works of art at a lower price for the community,” said Sarah LaBarre, fabric artist, curator and executive director of Artworks Center for Contemporary Art. “The format of the square foot keeps all the work cohesive while giving artists the challenge of keeping within these boundaries. It’s been wildly successful the last five years.”
Bidding begins at $100 and attendees don’t have to even leave home to cast their bids. An online auction will go live at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Folks interested in getting a jump on registering prior to the auction being made public can visit betterworld.org.
“This is the first year we have opened up submissions to all the mountain states,” LaBarre said. “Most artists, however, are Coloradans with a few exceptions from former ACCA artists or friends who have moved away. We have 28 participating artists out of about 34 applicants. We accepted 78 individual pieces from a pool of 87 individual pieces, making this the largest Square Foot Auction yet.”
From mixed media to intricate linocuts and photography, the pieces are sure to appeal to a variety of tastes.
“We looked at each submission for overall concept and composition as well as craftmanship and technique,” LaBarre said. “We are a contemporary art center, so we wanted to make sure to honor that while also choosing work that would be accessible to and enjoyed by the community of Loveland.”
On Friday, Artworks will host a preview party from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are free for members and $25 for non-members. Attendees can enjoy music from harpist Abigail Enssle, cuisine by Taste Local and libations. During the event, potential patrons will have an opportunity to purchase pieces at the “buy it now” price before the auction.
On Saturday, an auction party will kick off at Artworks starting at 1 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. All bidding will still take place online. The free event will feature snacks, drinks and music by champion fiddler Vi Wickam.
“Last year was my first year in contribution,” said Artworks studio artist Elizabeth Suriani, who once again has a piece in the auction. “I enjoy working in this size because I typically work a bit larger and it provides me a chance to change how I think while developing a new painting.”
Suriani’s “Glitch of a Rose,” made with acrylics, features the petals of a bloom melting against a black background.
“The inspiration for this piece — and similar works — came from a disconnect between the natural and digital world,” Suriani said. “We have come to depend solely on our devices and how it can connect us back to nature. I know I am guilty of this. But this piece is essentially showing that glitch that we would usually see when our screens freeze or there are technical difficulties.”
Suriani doesn’t just stick to one medium, but finds joy in exploring and working with a bevy of materials.
From crafting a botanical-inspired jewelry line to making embroidered pieces and painting watercolors on fabric, she stays inspired with new projects.
“When I was little, I honestly wanted to be an astronaut,” Suriani said. “That obviously didn’t happen. In middle and high school I was highly influenced by my amazing art teachers Mrs. Chacon-Nelson (Walt Clark Middle School) and Mrs. Devine (Thompson Valley High School), though I think my aha moment was likely when I was accepted into the Rotary Scholarship fund and was able to display one of my works at the Governor’s Art Show in 2012. It was a great feeling to be able to see one of my pieces hung up in a gallery and even better now to know that I have improved a lot in my style since then.”
She hopes to craft permanent installations in the future.
“As for what I hope ‘Glitch of a Rose’ will give to its winning bidder, I just hope that it will provide a sense of peace and questioning while looking at it,” Suriani said. “I love working with these paintings because it always seems that there is something new to see in each one.”
Colorful fiber canvases by Tracy McKinney and 3D works by Tim Koch are among the myriad of pieces up for grabs.
“I’m particularly drawn to first time Square Foot Auction participant Anne Feller’s encaustic work,” LaBarre said. “Feller is from Boulder and a new artist to me. This auction call is a really great way of finding out about local artists and I’ll be following Feller’s work as well as many other new participants.”
This year, the award of “Best in Show” will be chosen by Rachel Beitz, owner of Rule Gallery in Denver. The winner will receive a solo pop-up show in the south gallery during next year’s Square Foot event.
Simon’s untitled piece, made with spray paint and varnish on linen, has a black, white and gray color palette and detailed patterns. It is from his 2019 exhibit “The Polychotomy of You, Me, and We.”
The Square Foot Auction — the prime fundraiser of the year for Artworks — provides folks an opportunity to obtain a new piece or two for their wall space, while also supporting the largest studio artist community in Northern Colorado.
“We’re hoping to raise $8,000 which will be allocated to our overall operating budget, ensuring that we can continue offering artists competitive studio space, as well as important contemporary art exhibitions for the community,” LaBarre said, noting that as a nonprofit, “we rely heavily on contributions from the public.”
(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)