A bid for accessible art

Verge Center for the Arts rolls out online art auction—while rolling with the punches

Massiel Bobadilla, development director for Verge Center of the Arts, described what it means to be “Verge-y”: the gallery “just roll[s] with the punches and tries new things.”

2020 has definitely been a year for being “Verge-y.” Much of Verge’s programming has moved online, been canceled or danced back and forth as Sacramento’s pandemic restrictions continue to be a moving target. Their fundraising efforts, including their current art auction, have also had to roll with the punches.

Today begins the last week of Verge’s three-week online art auction—an event that would usually be held one night only in person. For many institutions, a switch from a one-night gala to an extended virtual affair would be disastrous, but eight months of rolling with the punches has shown Verge the extent of Sacramento’s community support, from the big spender to the casual collector.

“One of the kind of astounding thing [was] that the community was so generous with us in May [for Big Day of Giving], just a couple of months after we all went into quarantine,” Bobadilla says. “This was our most successful Big Day of Giving to date, and the average donation we received was about $40.”

While Verge’s mission has always been to increase accessibility to art, the silver lining of shifting the auction online offers those who think art collecting is out of their price range to realize that’s not the case.

While there are definitely high-end pieces bound for the homes of seasoned collectors, there are several pieces that open at lower price points.

Can’t take the anxiety of an auction? Verge has incorporated a print sale with pieces under the $100 mark. The print sale and silent auction are already up and running. Sign up in advance to join in on the fun of the live auction this Saturday night at 9pm.

“The auction this year is more vital than ever,” said Liv Moe, Verge’s executive director.

Like all nonprofits, Verge relies on a variety of sources for support including fundraisers like the art auction. “By supporting the auction you’re not only supporting Verge, you’re also supporting regional artists as we get ready to head into the holidays,” Moe added.

The gallery is using auction proceeds to provide additional support to Sacramento’s arts community. Ten percent of auction sales will benefit Sacramento’s Black Artists Fund, and artwork purchased from former Ali Youssefi Project artists in residence will be donated back to AYP.

Verge’s live auction takes place online beginning at 6:30pm on Saturday, November 21, with the silent auction and print sale running until midnight. View all items up for bid at https://www.vergeart.com/attend/the-2020-verge-art-auction/.

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