News / Press Releases

Artist Trust’s 2016 Benefit Art Auction is February 27: Celebrating 30 Years of Supporting Artists

For Immediate Release:


Kristina Goetz (she/her)

Development Director

206.467.8734 x21

1.866.21.TRUST (toll free)

On Saturday February 27, Artist Trust will celebrate its 30th year anniversary with a sensational gala and art auction at Fisher Pavilion, kicking off a full year of celebrations commemorating 30 years of building the careers of Washington State artists.

Artist Trust was founded in 1986 by a group of local artists and artist patrons who intuitively understood that to support “the arts” one must invest in art at its source—-the individual artist. To commemorate the idea of entrusting artists with unrestricted cash grants, we are excited to announce that major donors and founders of Artist Trust have committed to donating $30,000 each in honor of our 30th anniversary. To date, the 30 FOR 30 DONORS are Michael and Cathy Casteel, Christopher and Alida Latham, and Jon Shirley. In addition, Leonard and Norma Klorfine committed to match all FUND THE ARTISTS gifts that night up to $50,000 through the Klorfine Foundation.

These monies are earmarked for FUND THE ARTISTS, an opportunity during the live auction for guests to make a 100% tax-deductible donation to fund the very same cash grants for individual artists that got Artist Trust started in 1986.

The Artist Trust Gala will be a night to remember. There will be silent and live auctions, abundant champagne, a seated dinner, and music and entertainment provided by Seattle band Industrial Revelation, led by Ahamefule Oluo, as well as a performance by spoken word artist Storme Webber.  Alison Bremner, a visual artist of Tlingit descent, will be the keynote speaker. Webber and Bremner are both 2015 James W. Ray Venture Project Award recipients. The auction itself will showcase artwork of more than 150 Washington State artists.

Attendees may bid on a range of artwork: paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and photographs, as well as exciting ‘art experiences’ like a behind-the-scenes tour of Christie’s Auction House, a personal shopping night with luxury retailer Totokaelo,  and an Orcas Island getaway including VIP passes to Orcas Island Film Festival and a stay at Doe Bay Retreat & Resort. The auction will also showcase work by extraordinary artists, including Northwest legends Alfredo Arreguin and Akio Takamori.

To preview Auction art and art experiences visit: .

The 30th Anniversary Gala and Auction Committee Co-Chairs Len Lewicki and Paula Stokes, Board Chair Stephanie Ellis-Smith, and the Artist Trust Board are pleased to welcome more than 450 art patrons, community leaders, entrepreneurs and young professionals, as well as artists and arts supporters from across the state at the February 27th event. Co-Chair Lewicki says: “This 30th anniversary auction is a celebration not only of the great work that Artist Trust has done to date and its impact in Washington State, but also of the organization´s future. There’s reason to celebrate.” All proceeds benefit Artist Trust’s programs to support Washington State artists.

To launch this year’s festivities, an exclusive Benefactor Event will be held on February 17 at Pivot Art + Culture in South Lake Union, featuring a closer look at the exhibition The Figure in Process, and a performance by guitarist and composer Bill Horist.  Invitations to this party are available for major sponsors and guests purchasing tickets at the Benefactor and Champion levels ($350 and $500 per person, respectively). Go here to purchase tickets to the Benefactor Event and the Gala Auction.

Major sponsors of the auction include: The Boeing Company, Goldman Sachs, The Klorfine Foundation, The Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation and Vulcan: A Paul G. Allen Company. 

Artist Trust 2016 Benefit Art Auction
Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center
Saturday, February 27, 2016

5:00 Registration and curator preview tour
6:00 Champagne and hors d’oeuvres, silent auction
7:30 Dinner, live auction, Fund the Artists
9:30 Live auction concludes

Visit for a full preview and more details.

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