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Archie Bray 65th anniversary features benefit auction and 1950s-themed Brickyard Bash

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By Rachel Hicks Communication Director for the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts

HELENA – Join Archie Bray as it celebrates its 65th anniversary on Saturday, July 23 with silent, live and cup auctions and a 1950s-themed Brickyard Bash that will take party goers back to the beginning of the foundation.

Bring your poodle skirts, blue suede shoes and muscle cars and get ready to kick off the next 65 years of ceramic excellence at the Archie Bray Foundation. Relive the decade that gave rise to Elvis Presley and Little Richard; TV shows like “I Love Lucy” and “Leave it to Beaver”; hot rods and drive-ins; and Barbie, hula hoops and Play-Doh.

Now in its 20th year, the annual Bray Benefit Auction includes work by more than 120 artists who have contributed to the live, silent and cup auctions. The live auction artwork will be on display in the North Gallery beginning May 20, and bidding on the cup and silent Auction items will begin on Thursday, July 16 in the Warehouse Gallery. The live auction and close of the cup and silent auctions will take place on Saturday, July 23 in conjunction with the Brickyard Bash.

All auction proceeds benefit the Bray’s international resident-artist program, which supports artists by offering rent-free studios, subsidized material and firing costs, as well as direct funding through fellowships and stipends.

Missoula artists the Big Sky Mudflaps, with special guests from Salsa Loca, will play live music. Appetizers, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be served during the auction and a no-host beer and wine stand will be open during the Brickyard Bash.

The Brickyard Bash began in 1984 to celebrate the purchase of the Bray family brickyard and to thank the community for its support. Under the direction of Kurt Weiser, the acquisition of 25 acres allowed for new studios, improvements to the clay business facilities, and opportunities for the residents to, in the words of Weister, “stretch out and do things they never did before.”

Visit for more information on the event, to view the auction artwork, or to find out more about the bidding process.

The Archie Bray Foundation is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the enrichment of the ceramic arts, located at 2915 Country Club Ave. in Helena, just 1/3 mile west of Spring Meadow Lake. Galleries are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday–Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sundays 1–5 p.m.

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