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Posted: Saturday, March 22nd 2014 at 8:22am

Brenau's Gala features high-tech component to art auction, purchases; online bidding now available

By Staff
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Artworks available now in Brenau University’s online auction and at the final auction at the Brenau University Gala in Gainesville March 29 include, Apples and Oranges, a 27.5- x 27.5-inch lithograph by artist Donald Sultan valued at $4,000.
GAINESVILLE – One of the major features of the March 29 Brenau University Gala will be the auction of some surplus gems from the university’s prestigious permanent collection of art.

But whether or not you have a ticket to the limited-seating dress-up affair at the Brenau University Downtown Center, you can get in on the action now with online bidding for many of the selections or outright purchases of some fixed-price items.

“We have always shared our art with the community,” said Brenau President Ed Schrader. “And since this easy-to-use online technology is available, we thought it made sense to open up the art auction to the community as well.”

Potential bidders can use their personal computers, or even smart phones, to participate in the advance online portion of the auction or, if they attend the Gala, to continue bidding on “silent auction” and the fixed-price pieces. They will also be able to track the progress of the auction and receive e-mail messages if someone tops their bid.

Participants may sign up now through

The art auction will consist of works from the university’s permanent art collection, ranging from relatively inexpensive prints to higher-priced pieces in a variety of media. There will be seven live auction pieces and 26 silent auction items up for bid, although each piece will also have a set “Buy it Now” price – if a bidder wants to purchase an auction item outright, they can agree to the “Buy it Now” price and instantly acquire the piece, removing it from any other bids. There are also 69 fixed-priced prints, watercolors, oils and mixed media art pieces ranging in value from $30 up to $800.

Bidders will have to attend the black-tie-optional Gala to bid on some of the most significant pieces pulled from the collection. That includes a signed artist’s maquette of “Lucile,” the 2,200-pound, 7-foot-tall golden tiger sculpture by Georgia artist Gregory Johnson that was recently installed at the front of Brenau’s main campus. There also will be in that group pieces by artists Donald Saff, Victor Vasarely, Donald Sultan, Howard Finster and Mary Ann Esty.

The “silent auction” offerings include works of Gordon W. Fiscus, Lee Anne White, Sarah Rakes, John Chetcuti and Gregory Johnson. Pieces by Christina Fernandez-Lyon, Doris deSha and others are among the fixed-priced items.

For other pieces, however, bidders can get started now and participate remotely right up until the electronic gavel falls at about 9:30 p.m. on Gala Saturday, March 29.

One new component to the auction is the option for interested bidders to bid online through BidPal, a service that since 2008 has been helping nonprofits to organize and manage automated auctions and fundraising events.

Through the BidPal link to the Brenau art auction, individuals can use their smartphones or computers to view each art item. The program includes descriptions or artworks, photos, starting values and bid increments. Then they can use their device to bid from anywhere at any time during the run of the auction. BidPal notifies users when they have been outbid so they do not need to constantly check the status of their bids. They also have the option to set a maximum bid amount and let BidPal automatically increase their bid, if necessary.

At the auction’s end, guests know instantly which items they have won and can instantly check out.

The theme of the Gala, an event that has been absent for more than a decade, is “The Art & Science of Brenau.” In addition to celebrating the university’s 135th anniversary, the event will serve as the official grand opening of the renovated Brenau University Center as a home for the new doctor in physical therapy and other allied health care programs. The university also will that day open the new Manhattan Gallery of art in the facility.

To purchase tickets to the Gala, call 770-534-6163 or email Tickets are $100 each. Sponsorship and naming opportunities for the Gala, Brenau Downtown Center facilities and the Manhattan Gallery are available at 770-718-5309.

Associated Categories: Business News, Local/State News

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