CLEARWATER, Fla. – Blackwell Auctions will offer a carefully curated sale of fine paintings, prints and sculptures on Saturday, October 13. The gallery will donate to a local charitable organization ten percent of the sale price of each item sold, to be chosen by the buyer.
“This really was a last-minute idea,” said Edwin Bailey, Blackwell’s owner. “I mean, the art auction is this upcoming weekend. But we were looking for a way to touch the local community, and we thought this would be a good way to go about it.”
“Because we have multiple online bidding venues, we ship a lot of items we sell somewhere else – up north, out west, overseas,” Bailey said. “But a local buyer might choose to bid one more time if they know that a significant portion of their purchase will benefit their favorite charity.”
After the auction, winning local bidders will have the opportunity to choose which charity will benefit. Any Tampa Bay not-for-profit organization is eligible, provided it is based in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk or Sarasota county.
The auction features a strong collection of contemporary work, including pieces formerly on loan to St. Petersburg’s Museum of Fine Arts (from the collection of Iris and E. Stan Salzer). The collection boasts three large, signed works by Robert Mapplethorpe, as well as pieces by Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Robert Rauschenberg, Vik Muniz, Philip Pearlstein, Roxy Paine and many other important contemporary artists. Most of the Salzer collection came from the USF’s famed Graphicstudio, now celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Highlighting the sale is Jeff Koons’ iconic Balloon Venus sculpture, originally commissioned by Dom Perignon. It’s expected to bring $45,000-60,000.
“This is an opportunity for astute art buyers at any level to obtain truly museum-quality, investment-grade pieces,” Bailey said, “but there’s something for everyone, with opening bids as low as $50.”
A Yosemite oil painting attributed to Albert Bierstadt headlines the sale’s non-contemporary offerings, along with works by Lilla Cabot Perry, Raphael Soyer, Diego Rivera, and a trove of paintings by French Social Realist painter Pierre Villain, whose entire body of work from the 1930s has remained within his family until only the last decade. Works by Peter Max, Alexander Calder, Ed Ruscha, John Zang, Sam Newton, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Joseph DeCamp, Paul Strisik, Linda Le Kinff, Carlo Canevari, Erte, Richard Tuttle, Ringo Starr and others round out the sale.
The auction is free and open to the public. Address is 10900 US 19 North. The entrance to the gallery is along 110th Avenue. Start time: 12 noon Eastern Time. Gallery preview: Friday, October 12 from 2-6 p.m., and 10 a.m. until 12 noon on auction day.
For additional information on any auction item, call Blackwell Auctions at 727-546-0200 or email [email protected] Online: www.blackwellauctions.com.