AFA Gallery offers artwork, experiences at annual auction

BY PATRICE WILDING / PUBLISHED: NOVEMBER 2, 2016
Art can be more than a framed piece hanging on an office wall or a handcrafted design displayed in a home.

Art can be an immersive experience.

Organizers of the 28th annual Holiday Art Auction drew upon this philosophy to enhance the offerings available during the bidding war set for Saturday, Nov. 19, at AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.

In addition to the variety of pieces of fine art donated from members, which include sculptures, photography, woodworking, batik and watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings and prints, supporters placed service items on the auction block this year.

Among them are a year’s access and use of Moscow Clayworks’ studio, plus participation in the open studio sessions; a garden landscape tour and opportunity for sketching and photography on the picturesque property belonging to Gretchen Ludders, who also will provide the winner with gourmet picnic fare; a visit to Crystal Earth Studio hosted by Bill Tersteeg, plus discussion, demonstration and refreshments there; a series of drawing classes by Rick Huck; and a 90-minute portrait session and five prints from KAE Imagery.

“That is the most exciting part of the auction this year,” said Melissa Carestia, gallery coordinator. “Almost all are fun, group activities.”

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Visitors can view the artwork up for auction during this week’s First Friday art walk from 6 to 9 p.m. at AFA, and the pieces then remain on display during regular gallery hours.

“People think of art as monetary investments, which it is, but at the same time, it’s to collect things that really make you happy,” Ms. Carestia said. “People looking to start collections, such as young couples who just purchased a home, can get well-known artists’ (works) for possibly less than it usually goes for and support a great organization at the same time. Take a look around and figure out what really speaks to you so the night of the auction you know what you need to have.”

Thirty-year-old Dunmore resident Allison LaRussa provided the featured raffle piece for the auction, an oil-on-canvas painting titled “Wild” that one of her many nature hikes inspired.

“Basically, I like creating these places that are very peaceful, places you can escape reality from,” Miss LaRussa said. “I always am inspired by nature, and I add my own flare to it.”

AFA’s primary fundraiser for the year, the auction begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by the live bidding at 7, guided by Ken Rivenburg. Proceeds benefit general operations of the gallery, including rent and utilities, as well as programming, such as the weekly life drawing classes.

“AFA is just a great place for people to support each other,” Miss LaRussa said. “They’re always doing different events and trying to bring the community together, so I think it’s important that everyone gives back to them.”

Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, Champagne, open bar and live music with their $25 admission, which guests can pay at the door or in advance through AFA members. Raffle tickets are three for $5.

“It’s a really fun evening. You’re able to come down to the gallery, and the live auction is very exciting,” Ms. Carestia said. “It’s usually how we are able to keep our doors open.”

If you go

What: 28th annual Holiday Art Auction

When: Saturday, Nov. 19; cocktails begin at 6 p.m. The art also is on display starting with the First Friday art walk, Friday, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: AFA Gallery, 514 Lackawanna Ave.

Details: Admission to the gallery is free during First Friday and regular business days. Auction admission is $25 at the door or through AFA members. Raffle tickets are three for $5. For information and reservations, call 570-969-1040.

Click here to read the full article on The Times-Tribune website.

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