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USU Art Guild hosts aliens for Halloween art auction

October 28th, 2010 Posted in Arts and Life

By Mark Vuong

The auctioneer stands in front of the audience. A 4-foot-diameter UFO hovers above him. A beam of light engulfs him.

Alien Abduction: the theme for this year’s Halloween art auction, an annual event since 1987, put together by a student club known as the Art Guild.

“Costumes recommended but not required,” said Guild Vice President Michelle Larsen, who is heading the event. “No one’s going to care if you don’t wear a costume. It’s just more fun to wear costumes.”

The event begins at 7 p.m. this Friday in Room 150 of the Fine Arts building and will feature an auction of various artwork—paintings, drawings, printmaking pieces—from professors and students. Donated items will be auctioned as well, ranging from shirts to canned goods, and refreshments of bread, cheese, spooky treats such as alien gummies, green M&M’s and root beer will be provided. About midway through the event, there will be a costume contest, where people from the audience may walk on stage to show off their attire.

Larsen, senior in art education with an emphasis in painting, said the winner gets to have his or her name professionally engraved on a metal plate of a trophy that has a figurine of Blue Boy, a famous painting of a boy in blue holding a cape, on top.

This year, Larsen, who headed the last auction and helped with the previous two, has added one more part to the event, a dance. It will be going on outside the auction, she said, and is for anyone wanting to take a break from what’s going on inside Room 150.

Art Guild President Vincent Cobb says the artwork is inexpensive. The auctioneer makes a judgment call on the starting bid, he said, which can range from 25 cents and up.

From last year’s auction, Cobb recalled that he and his friend had gotten into a bidding war for print by USU art professor Woody Shepherd, who had his painting professionally photographed and then took the photo to a modern printing press. Cobb’s friend outbid him at $175. That is a bargain for a work from Shepherd, said Cobb, who is a junior studying painting and printmaking and will donate as many as 10 of his own paintings, drawings and prints.

“He works with a lot of landscape, but he uses a lot of color effects,” Cobb said. “His stuff is really good. And it’s really pricey.”

The auction allows artists to empty their studios of unwanted work, Larsen said, and serves as a fundraiser for the club.

She said the club’s purpose is multifaceted: to bring awareness and support of the arts to the local community, to bring awareness to local artists, to make friends and to help art students grow professionally.

The club brings visiting artists, holds art activities, has screens art documentaries for movie night. The group also visits the USU cadaver lab to draw, she said.

“Yeah, lots of it’s just learning ‘cause we can’t get enough from just our school,” she said. “We want to learn more.”

The guild also will host a gallery walk on Nov. 14, in whichall art disciplines will be participating, Cobb said.

From 5-9 p.m. printmakers will have their items up for sale. The gallery walk will be open from 6 to 8 p.m. Student work will be presented in the Fine Arts building in each discipline’s studio and professional works will be in the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Larsen said.

The guild also will sponsor a trip to San Francisco during Spring Break, Larsen said, to visit art museums and do some touring. The cost is tentatively at $250, which covers the cost for the bus, hotel, transportation in the city and some museum costs.

Anyone wanting to learn more about the trip can attend informational meetings on Dec. 6 at 12:30 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 3:30 p.m. The meeting place will be announced in the guild’s newsletter. To sign up for it, e-mail “subscribe” to usuart@gmail.com. The club also has a Facebook page, “USU Art Guild.” The group also will sponsor its annual Warehouse Show sometime in the spring.


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