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There's a lot going on in Penticton this weekend. But if it's fast-paced action you crave -- not to mention the good vibes of putting your money right back into the community and potentially walking away with an objet d'art you can prominently display in your own home -- it's tough to beat the Penticton Art Gallery's 45th Annual Art Auction this Saturday afternoon.
It's the Gallery's first public art auction since 2019 (thanks, COVID), and the largest and most important fundraiser in its itinerary. All proceeds go toward PAG's children outreach and a education programs.
"We did two online auctions over the pandemic and they certainly lacked the theatre of the live event," said curator Paul Crawford, who'll reprise his role as auctioneer. "So we're excited to get back to having people bidding against each other and raising money at the same time."
Not only will Crawford wield the gavel at the event, he'll also do it fully costumed. What that costume will be remains a surprise, though the event theme of "High Tea" may give some clues. Regardless, all attendees are encouraged to do the same.
There'll be 200-plus items up for bids once the live auction begins Saturday between 5 and 5:15 pm, with assessed per-item values ranging from $25 to $5,000. Entry is by suggested donation of $10, though Crawford and crew are willing to waive that for those who are seriously considering bidding.
Standout items this year include a pair of Andy Warhol prints and a NASA test pilot suit worn by a man who's been to the Moon.
"We have two Warhol prints," said Crawford. "They're both artists proofs, printed from the same inks, same screens, same paper. A Warhol Marilyn painting just sold for $195,000,000, but you can have one today for just $3,000.
"And the flight suit was James Irwin's. He was on Apollo 15. Drove a buggy on the moon. It's his official NASA test pilot suit.
"It comes with his autograph, a business card and note, a whole bunch of NASA memorabilia, and letters of authenticity from two dealers and his widow. It even has a stain on it from when he painted his summer cabin one year."
Doors open for the 45th annual Penticton Art Gallery Art Auction Saturday afternoon (June 25th) at 3:30 pm at the Gallery at 199 Marina Way. There'll be live music, an open bar and yummy snacks from 4 to 5, and the auctioneering will begin between 5 and 5:15.