This month at the Pence Gallery, all three galleries are filled with almost 150 works of art, just in time for our annual Art Auction. Ranging from photography and painting to mixed media and ceramics, the auction exhibit includes pieces donated by some of the region’s finest artists.
This year, we have pulled out all the stops in terms of the variety and quality of work, and we have quite a few new artists that we’ve added to the mix.
A few of our new artists are people familiar to art lovers across the country, and beyond. Robert Arneson, considered to be the father of ceramic funk art, has two pieces in our display, both from the Davis Art Center collection. His Alice Street print includes a self-portrait circa 1965, in front of his East Davis home. It’s one of my favorite Arneson prints, as it speaks to how art can celebrate the ordinary, while aiming for the extraordinary. (The adage, “A man’s home is his castle” is glimpsed through his vision of an elaborate castle-like house.)
Also included is a small “trophy bust” of the artist, which, despite its small size, packs both humor and a hefty sense of mortality in it.
David Gilhooly’s outlandish frogs and other creatures also appear in our auction. Visitors will be greeted by the orange eyes and curly tusks of his warthog. Gilhooly was a great supporter of the Pence, and I heard of his passing the day that I hand-carried his frog into the gallery.
Other works from the Zdenka Cerny by Alphonse Mucha collection from the Davis Art Center include a large watercolor by Gladys Nilsson and a study by Chiura Obata. We are honored to have the opportunity to showcase the Art Center’s work that is currently being deaquisitioned.
Other stellar works of art include two landscapes by Andre Janitzsky and an Art Nouveau poster of Zdenka Cerny by Alphonse Mucha, given to us by the sitter’s granddaughter Lacey Thayer.
A full list of artists is available on our website, and we are so grateful for their donation to our auction. Proceeds from the auction help support our exhibit and education programs, and allow us to continue our mission of providing great exhibits and educational opportunities for the community. Last year, more than 17,500 visitors came to the gallery to see one of our exhibits, hear a talk or participate in a program.
In order to secure a great work of art — and there are many — you must either bid the walk-away amount during the run of our preview exhibit (daily except Mondays through Sept. 20), or make sure that you are at our auction event, on Friday, Sept. 20, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
The night will be a fun opportunity to enjoy food by Dos Coyotes, Seasons, deVere’s Irish Pub, Nugget Market and Caffé Italia, and wine by Fiddlehead Cellars. Zorelli, a band that performed at the Pence during the Davis Music Fest, will return with their Caribbean jazz sounds. Tickets are available through our website or at the gallery, 212 D St., and are $30 for members, $40 for nonmembers.
The evening ends with a live auction featuring 14 works of art, and this part is the best part of auction. The energy level is high, as friends (and occasionally spouses) try to outbid each other, a special tie is auctioned off (only to reappear the following year), and champagne and sumptuous desserts by Ciocolat are served.
Sponsors for the event include Tandem Properties, Raven’s Corner Framing, Linda & Henry Bennett DDS, First Northern Bank, Schindler Elevator, Carbahal & Company, Kim Eichorn/Lyon Real Estate, Doug Prichard/State Farm Insurance, Dave Scheiber/State Farm Insurance, Scott Motley, Merrill Lynch, Brooks Painting, Davis Food Co-op, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, PDQ Parcel Dispatch, The Artery and the Davis Art Center.
— Natalie Nelson is executive director and curator of the Pence Gallery; her column is published monthly.