Banner Art Auction raises nearly $25k


By The Telegram

By The Telegram

Saturday's sixth annual Banner Art Auction at the Clarion Inn ballroom raised more than $24,250, about $2,600 more than last year's auction.

The top banner, which fetched $700, was Rodger Pister's, "Oh My," featuring a lion, tiger and a bear. The next few top banners were Carole Geier's, "Firecracker," (Zoo's red panda) for $625, and a tie between Chrisshell Ricard's, "Tree of Knowledge," and Robin Valenzuela's, "In Tune" (guitars) at $575 each.

The rest of the banners sold for amounts between $75 and $700.

According to Downtown Vision, attendance was up 6 percent this year with 192 attendees, an increase of 11 people from 2012. Ticket sales were up 29.5 percent.

There were 52 banners in 2013, an increase of seven over the 45 banners in 2012. The average banner in 2012 went for $260.67, and dropped to $234.02 on average in 2013.

However, the gross sales of mounted canvases, posters and notecards almost doubled with a 97.6 percent increase.

"We had a great crowd again this year, even going up against a home K-State football game," Beverly Schmitz Glass, Downtown Vision's executive director, said. "We had a record number of reserved tables, so this event looks to be one for getting together with friends for a fun evening while supporting the fine arts in Garden City."

Every year, artists create paintings on canvas for Downtown Vision. The banners are treated with several coats of varnish to help them survive outdoor conditions and are hung up each September before Fall Fest and remain in place through the last week of October. Then in November the banners are cleaned and offered for auction.

During the auction, the opening bid on each canvas is $75, an amount that covers the cost of new canvases for next year's banners.

Winning bids on each piece that are higher than that amount are split between the artist and Downtown Vision. The artist receives all of the amount between $76 and $100, while bids of more than $100 will be split 65-35 between the artist and Downtown Vision.

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