Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My own personal Auction Madness

Me and JT Tannous at the 10x10 Exhibition

The spring semester has officially started!  Cute, fresh, students are running around with their notebooks clutched tight and their pencils sharpened.  They all ask me for directions to their classes.  I just want to pinch their cheeks, and remind them of their enthusiasm in 2-3 months, when they are frantic and stressed with finals.  But hey, that's months away!  Let's ride this tide of energy while we can!!

Last weekend I got to see adults get carried away with same kind of enthusiasm at the Flagstaff Cultural Partners' Member's Preview of the 10x10 Exhibition.  The exhibit contains 100 local artists who created over 150 pieces of a ten-inch by ten-inch piece of artwork to sell or start at auction for only $100.  The proceeds of the sale go to FCP.

The biggest excitement of the evening was that it was an AUCTION.  One of my favorite movie tropes (and indeed, real-life archetypes) is the auction-crazed bidder, who spends money he plainly doesn't have, and comes home to his wife with his hat in his hand and, for instance, a hot-blooded war horse that is supposed to learn how to plow the fields.

We all know of these stories.  Last year, I sat next to a couple at the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra Gala, and the husband bid $500 on THE WRONG THING.  He realized his mistake as the closing of the auctioneer's chant, got white, sweaty and turned to his wife.  "I think I f*#@-ed up, but it's okay," he tried to reassure both her and himself, a non-golfer who had just bought a golf session at some fancy resort.

So I was perfectly aware of  this mistake, having watched a million movies and even seen it in real life.  I, myself, was particularly mad that night for a piece by Joe Cornett and Ben Shaffer called "The Vision."  There was no auctioneer chanting unintelligibly with the sole intention of creating a buying panic.  But, still, I was a woman on a mission, and lo to the hapless fool who tried to talk about unrelated matters.  I was clearly antisocial in my single-minded goal.  I sacrificed a few conversations for the cause.

However, my tenacity did win my auction, and I am now the happy owner of a vintage piece of technology/art.  "The Vision" is simplistically beautiful.  It's a hand-crafted wooden box with camera aperture that you can peek inside, to see an illuminated slide on the far wall.  I love it, because I think old technology is so romantic (pneumatic tubes, anyone?) and I love the smell of wood.  I also love art that involves the viewer.

You can go see my new piece, and bid on your own favorite art next weekend.  The public opening reception for the 10x10 Exhibition is Saturday, January 21, 2012 from 6 -8 p.m. at the Center.  And if you see me there, I'll be more likely to have a conversation with you!

A piece on display at 10x10 Exhibit.  "In the Tapeats at Oza Butte" ink drawing by Bruce Aiken. 

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