Mandi Johnson/staff photo “Seascape” oil painting by the artist Hampton.

Senior center art auction

The Orcas Senior Center’s first ever art auction is well under way. The silent auction, which began on June 13, will run through July 9, when a live auction will be held at the senior center.

“We’ve punched a lot of holes in the senior center,” laughed Jacqueline Kempfer, co-chair of the Orcas Senior Center’s Visual Arts Committee.

Both the silent and live auctions feature artworks donated by various islanders, including personal works by island artists.

“We’ve been actively soliciting art for 18 months,” said Jamie Mitchell, senior services specialist for the center. “It’s so inspiring to see. This is a real success.”

The artwork is on display during the silent auction from June 13-July 9, and the public is free to come in, review the pieces and bid on their favorites from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Starting bids for the pieces vary from as low as $5 to $1,000, but organizers don’t want people to be scared off by the high end of the bidding scale.

“Most of the starting bids are under $100,” explained Kempfer.

Suzanne Lamb has volunteered her time as curator of the auction, cataloguing the art, researching the history and discovering the value of each piece on display. She also donated some of her personal artwork to the auction.

Along with Lamb, other local artists who have donated their art include Kempfer, Rosemarie Atlberg, Heidi Lindberg, Janis Mattox, Joe Floren, Joyce Green, Steve Hussein and Frank Loudin.

The silent auction concludes on July 9, when the center will hold the live auction, selecting approximately 10 of the pieces to be auctioned off at the event. A special addition of two or three pieces not in the silent auction will also be auctioned off during the live event.

The live auction will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 9 at the senior center. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres made by Christina Orchid will be served, along with donated wine from San Juan Vineyards and Country Corner. There will also be live entertainment by Skye Hovelman and Paris Wilson.

Tickets are available at the senior center and Darvill’s for $20 prior to the auction, or $25 at the door.