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Donated Canadian art piece sells at auction

New owner bought the artwork because she loves the piece

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A valued Canadian painting that was donated to the Whistler Re-Use-It Centre finally has a new home.

The piece by Claire Bice called "Yellow, White and Gold" sold at a Rotary art auction with auctioneer Chris Quinlan leading the selling effort. The work was donated last year and Re-Use-It staff efforts to find a home for the piece didn't work out. To find a more appropriate marketing fit for the art Re-Use-It manager Cheryl Skribe turned to art studio owner Penny Eder to help market the piece.

Skribe said after the piece was discovered at the centre that she believed whoever donated the artwork didn't really know what they had.

Eder had the piece appraised and valued at $1,700. Despite its historical value, efforts to sell the work fell short until the recent Rotary art auction saw four people take an interest.

According to Eder, "Yellow, White and Gold" was auctioned by Quinlan for $750.

"The woman who bought it absolutely loves it," said Eder after the auction. "I had a chat with her about the piece."

Eder noted that the new owner didn't indicate she wanted her name publicized in conjunction with the purchase.

Bice died in 1976 and in his life he wrote and illustrated children's books while also working as a curator. The body of work painted by Bice includes landscapes and portraits. Some of his pieces have sold at auction for as much as $2,500.

Bice was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1973 for his contribution to the arts.

Quinlan and Eder said the auction was fun with a bunch of the people at the Rotary Club event dressed in period costumes.

"It was quite fun, I enjoyed it," said Quinlan of the auction event that saw the Bice work claimed.

"As an auctioneer I'm a little bit ruthless," said Quinlan.

His strategies include considering side chatter and looks directly at him to be signs of a bid.

Quinlan said he was happy to help move the art piece created by Bice, even though he admitted he didn't really know much about the artist or his work, and he said he was even more pleased that proceeds from the auction went to the Whistler Community Services Society.

WFF announces fundraiser details

Whistler Film Festival organizers announced this week that they will be hosting the annual Celebrate Whistler Film Festival fundraiser Aug. 15.

The event will take place at the Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar in Vancouver from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Carl Bessai, a filmmaker who splits his time between Vancouver and Los Angeles and has directed 14 feature films, will be honoured with the inaugural Maverick Award.

"Celebrate Whistler Film Festival is an occasion to connect with our supporters, alumni and audience who have helped us create such a beloved cultural enterprise," says Shauna Hardy Mishaw, executive director and founder of the Whistler Film Festival Society, in a release. "This year, we are delighted to be honouring our dear friend Carl Bessai with our inaugural Maverick Award. Carl embodies maverick in every sense of the word. He truly symbolizes the indie spirit in Canada and he has ensured that the voice of the independent filmmaker is at the heart of everything we do."

Bessai has been nominated for and won several Genie Awards and Leo Awards with his films screened everywhere from the Toronto International Film Festival to the Sundance Film Festival. He also inspired the creation of WFF's Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature, which is the second largest cash prize for film in this country.

The event will be hosted by Fred Lee, the "Man About Town" for several Vancouver publications, as well as for CBC Radio One.

Tickets are $150 per person, but $250 for two tickets until July 31.

Theyr'e available online at www.whistlerfilmfestival.com or by calling 604-938-3203.

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