The Road to Hell is Paved with Theme Art Auctions

September 4, 2009 § Leave a comment

WAMC-LOGO”The Road to Hell is Paved with Theme Art Auctions” originally aired on WAMC in 2007.  Click on the WAMC logo to listen to the audio version of this article.

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E. O. Schaub

Ah summer. Time for the return of so many familiar, warm-weather things: strawberry picking… outdoor concerts on a picnic blanket… farmer’s markets …and increasingly, the inevitable charity theme art auction, (cue the ominous music.)

Oh, it all started out innocently enough. Way back in the summer of 1999 the city of Chicago held the now-renowned public art exhibition “Cows on Parade,” featuring some 300 life-size artist-decorated fiberglass cows. (Little known fact— Cow Parade actually made it’s original debut in Zurich, Switzerland the year before, with an astonishing 800 of the beautified bovines.)

At that time it was a brand-new and rather innovative concept: pick a generic form, create multiples, have artists decorate each one differently, display them for a period, and then auction the pieces off for charity.

It caught on like wildfire, and not surprisingly. I mean, the whole thing sounds a Chamber of Commerce director’s dream. After all, we’re killing multiple birds with one stone, aren’t we? Between awareness of the arts, fund-raising for a good cause, and an event that the community can get behind while promoting the region to tourism as well… what’s not to like? « Read the rest of this entry »

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