By Lethbridge Herald on November 20, 2020.
The Southern Alberta Art Gallery Art Frenzy is going online.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 28th version of SAAG’s gala will be launched as a virtual event with bidding taking place nationwide.
With 44 local and international artists featured this year, the online version launches tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at www.artfrenzyauction.com.
“Typically, the Frenzy would be a large in-person party,” said Kristy Trinier, executive director of the SAAG. “But we’re not doing that this year for safety reasons.”
On Friday, there were opportunities to view the artwork gallery, but bidding on the artists’ works began Nov. 13.
The Art Frenzy will kick into overdrive tonight when the final two hours go online.
“Many of the artworks already have live bids and there is some competition happening already,” said Trinier. “It’s starting to amp up as it gets closer to the event. The virtual auction is probably similar to a Zoom that most people have experienced already. We really encourage people to celebrate arts and culture in the way they would like to, whether that’s dressing up the way they used to for art galas or their fanciest sweatpants. Whatever is the comfiest. Enjoy some champagne and watch online.
“There will be DJ music and a program where bidding is live with programmed digital elements. People can tune in, bid live and join the competition and vie for the works.”
In addition to the 44 artists, 16 gift packages will also be up for bidding tonight.
Once people sign up online they will be sent the virtual gala link with all the instructions.
With their ticket purchase, bidders will receive an Art Frenzy Auction Box filled with items such as a limited edition print to make the night feel like an at-home frenzy.
The pandemic hitting in mid-March was cause for concern, said Trinier.
However, the local support never wavered.
“It has had an impact on the gallery and as a non-profit we’re just blown away by the support from the community,” said Trinier. “The artists, the businesses and all of our sponsors and partners have really come forward with a huge amount of generosity this year and we’re very grateful.
“The gallery is over 40 years old and the art auction is a part of its history. Contemporary art, to us, means art made by artists of our time. The art auction is fantastic because it’s a way people can have art made by living artists in their homes and businesses.
“This is a really incredible display of some of the talent in our region and artists who have had exhibitions at the SAAG. It’s our signature fundraiser. All the proceeds from the auctions supports the exhibitions, the public engagement programs, the artist talks and the youth classes. It’s an important part of our community support for the gallery.”
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