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Arts Council auction to support affordable art education programming

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Artist Carrie Wild finishes a piece at last year’s Auction for the Arts. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTS COUNCIL OF BIG SKY

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The Arts Council of Big Sky will host its 11th Annual Auction for the Arts on March 2 at Montage Big Sky to raise funds that allow the nonprofit to provide affordable arts programming and education to the community, according to a Feb. 28 press release. 

The auction will host many returning and local artists including David Mensing, Carrie Wild, Kevin Red Star, Ryan Turner, Jake Mosher, Carlin Bear Don’t Walk, Lorri Lagerbloom and Diana Tremaine.

The event consists of an online silent auction—featuring paintings, pottery, photography and more at price points to accommodate casual buyers and discriminating collectors alike—and a live auction with an auctioneer. Unique pieces from regionally renowned artists, experience packages and “quick-finish” works will be available during the live auction. 

The Arts Council’s studio manager and lead instructor Julie Edwards helps a young student create a piece of pottery in the BASE art classroom. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTS COUNCIL OF BIG SKY

Auction proceeds help to fund the Arts Council’s mission of creating an accessible art environment in Big Sky for residents and visitors. Funds raised during the live auction’s paddle raise segment will directly support the council’s “Contribute What You Can” model for art education programs. According to the release, the program seeks to eliminate barriers to entry for community members to participate in art classes. An anonymous donor has agreed to a $50,000 match during the paddle raise. 

According to Brian Hurlbut, the Arts Council’s executive director, 40% of art class participants take advantage of the pay-what-you-can program; 14% overpay so that others can participate.

“Raising additional funds for this program will allow it to continue,” Hurlbut said. “Our goal is [to] provide access to the arts for everyone, and this program is the best example of that.”

Tickets to the event include valet parking, two drink tickets, plated appetizers, dessert and live music from the Mike Murray Duo. 

For more information about the auction, head to bigskyarts.org.

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