I am behind as usual on my posts. Most of you know Penland, the world class crafts school in western North Carolina. But you may not know the depth and breadth of their photography program. For 4 decades they have been teaching the newest of the new along side the most arcane of historical and alternative processes and everything in between and have influenced countless photographers. Ellen and I were approached by director Jean McLaughlin about supporting a planned new state-of-the-art photography studio building that will extend Penland's photography legacy into the next century.
We had such success with the PhotObama auction here that we thought a photography auction would be a great and fun way to raise funds for the project. Enough time had passed too that we forgot how much work it was!
35 amazing photographers with history and ties to Penland donated their work and along with event sponsorships we raised and incredible $34,500 in a single afternoon for the new building. You can download a complete checklist here.
Photographer David Spear discussing his donation to the exhibition and auction. David's piece Juana Paloma ignited the hottest bidding war of the afternoon selling for well over estimate.
Another hot property during the auction (and during absentee advance bidding) was MJ Sharp's The Persistence of Sea Foam.
The amazing (and stylish!) Gary Phillips with Weaver Street Realty reprised his role and donated his services as auctioneer and kept the crowd bidding.
Lee Moore donated special flower arrangements.
Our amazing intern (and now Duke MFA grad) Rachel Boillot (center with boots) helped me curate and hang the show, did the checklist, and everything else from patching and painting walls to matting and framing donations.
David Summer (left) with The Framer's Corner in Carrboro saved my butt on more than one occassion with emergency framing issues AND donated gift certificates as incentives for higher bidders.
Jennings Brody with Parker and Otis donated all of the delicious food.
Penland's Robin Dreyer spoke to various groups to highlight the spectacular work on auction and Penland had a virtual army of helpers on hand on auction day and leading up to the event to make things run like a Swiss watch.
We are so grateful to all of the talented artists who donated their time and work to ensure the success of the auction and the future of Penland's photography program.