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Artist Trust Celebrates the Power of Community at 2017 Benefit Art Auction

For Immediate Release:

      Artist Trust Celebrates the Power of Community at 2017 Benefit Art

  Seattle, WA –   On Saturday, February 25th, Artist Trust hosted its annual Benefit Art Auction, bringing over 350 members of the community together to celebrate and support Washington State artists of all disciplines. With the theme “Envision the Future”, the audience was encouraged to imagine a future where artist voices are heard and supported.

  More than $460,000 was raised, including $225,000 raised during Fund the Artists, an opportunity during the live auction for guests to make a 100% tax-deductible donation to Artist Trust. Donations to Fund the Artists were graciously matched dollar for dollar to $50,000 by the Klorfine Foundation, with lead gifts of $30,000 apiece from Katharyn Alvord Gerlich and Christopher and Alida Latham.

  The program began with Artist Trust Board of Trustees President Pablo Schugurensky telling a personal story about immigrating to Washington State from Argentina to attend Evergreen. “As you all know, we can see the state’s progressive efforts to this very day,” he said. “As an immigrant, I am proud to live in this state.” Campaign co-chairs Stephanie Ellis-Smith and Susan Wagner thanked lead donors to the Campaign for a Creative Future, a $3.5 million dollar campaign to stabilize Artist Trust’s grant making programs and fund innovation state-wide, and asked the audience to visit to learn more about supporting Artist Trust beyond the festivities taking place that evening.

  The live auction opened with an excerpt from 2016 Artist Trust | Frye Art Museum 2016 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award recipient, Donald Byrd and Spectrum Dance Theater’s critical acclaimed production, SHOT, a contemplation on the alarming and continuous murder of unarmed black people by the police. Donald Byrd, the choreographer, was an Artist Trust and Frye Art Museum James W. Ray Distinguished Artist recipient in 2016. The keynote speaker was Barbara Earl Thomas. 2016 Artist Trust Twining Humber Award recipient, who told the audience, “We are an example of what it looks like when people put self aside and come together… We are supporting the idea of artists telling truth to self.”

  The event’s silent and live auctions featured donated artwork andmission-focused art experiences from more than 100 Washington State artists. The live auction included several over-value bids on work by extraordinary artists, including Mark Rediske, Alison Bremner, Rik Allen, and Jeremias Lentini, and a collaborative piece by Akio Takamori, Cappy Thompson, and Dick Weiss. Preston Singletary’s “Killer Whale Totem” was the highest bid of the night, going for almost $6,000. High-bid art experiences included goCstudio’s Floating Sauna on Lake Union, a VIP weekend of art tours in Los Angeles, and an exclusive Walla Walla package created by artist Squire Broel, which includes a tour of the Walla Walla Foundry and Corliss Estates winery with dinner prepared by award-winning chef Andrae Bopp. Guests also enjoyed music provided by Simone of local arts collective TUF, a tin-type photo booth by Daniel Carillo, appearing courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery. Another photo booth featured a sculptural installation by 2016 Artist Trust Fellowship recipient Leah Gerrard.

  “This year’s auction was a reminder how strong our arts community is,” said Shannon Halberstadt, Artist Trust’s Executive Director, “We know that Washington State’s artists will continue to create important work, and we desperately need artists’ voices in today’s world.” Net proceeds from the Auction will fund Artist Trust’s support of individual artist through grants, career training, and resources.

  Artist Trust Benefit Art Auction was generously sponsored by Patron Sponsors Boeing, Uncle Harry’s Natural Products, and Vulcan Inc., as well as numerous small businesses, galleries, and individuals.



About Artist Trust
Artist Trust is a nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Since its founding in 1986, Artist Trust has invested over $10 million in individual artists through grant programs, and provides a comprehensive suite of professional development training and resources to help artists achieve their career goals. Learn more at