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Record-Breaking Artist Trust 2015 Benefit Art Auction: Over $500,000 Raised!

For Immediate Release:

Seattle, WA – On Saturday evening, March 7th, Artist Trust hosted its annual gala art auction, showcasing the donated work of more than 125 Washington State artists. This year’s record-breaking event raised over $500,000, which is more than a 30% increase over the previous year.

Over 420 art patrons, community leaders, entrepreneurs and young professionals, as well as artists and arts supporters from across the state joined the festivities in celebration of individual artists and the work of Artist Trust. Net proceeds from the Auction will fund Artist Trust’s support of individual artist through grants, career training and resources.

FUND THE ARTISTS, an opportunity during the live auction for guests to make a 100% tax-deductible donation to Artist Trust, earned over $250,000 for the first time ever due to the generosity of The Klorfine Foundation and Artist Trust board members and supporters. Major 2015 Artist Trust Benefit Art Auction donors include Shari and John Behnke, Michael and Cathy Casteel, Stephanie Ellis-Smith and Doug Smith, Kathryn Alvord Gerlich, The Klorfine Foundation, Christopher and Alida Latham, Linden Rhoads and David Lahaie, Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, and Mark Vadon and Mattie Iverson Vadon. The auction festivities were launched on February 26, 2015 with an inspiring Benefactor Event for major sponsors and donors hosted by longtime supporters and collectors Shari and John Behnke at their Seattle home.

This year’s auction showcased work by extraordinary artists, including 2014 Artist Trust Fellowship recipients Cathy McClure and Jason Walker, 2010 Arts Innovator Award recipient Leo Berk, 2009 Twining Humber Award recipient Anne Hirondelle and legendary Northwest artists Kenneth Callahan and Michael Spafford. The evening featured silent and live auctions, champagne, seated dinner, music by A Cedar Suede and a performance by Esther de Monteflores.

“It was truly an exceptional night,” said Shannon Halberstadt, Artist Trust’s Executive Director. “Our theme this year, ‘There is no art without artists,’ brought home the mission of Artist Trust: supporting art at its source—individual artists.  We are absolutely in awe of the collective generosity at the event, which enables Artist Trust to continue to help artists thrive.”

Artist Trust Benefit Art Auction is generously sponsored by The Boeing Company and Vulcan, Inc.

For more information and photos, contact Amber Cortes, Communications Manager.

Artist Trust has invested over $10 million in Washington State artists since its founding in 1986, through grant programs and direct support. Artist Trust also provides a comprehensive suite of career training and professional development resources to help artists achieve their career goals.

Artist Trust is a not-for-profit organization whose sole mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Find out more at

Major supporters of Artist Trust include many individual donors along with: 4Culture, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Amazon, ArtsFund, ArtsWA, The Boeing Company, The Dale & Leslie Chihuly Foundation, The Klorfine Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Raynier Institute & Foundation, Seattle Art Fair, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Jon & Mary Shirley Foundation, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and Vulcan Inc.