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Harwood Museum of Art hosts 'Bash at The Blake' art auction


For the second year, the Harwood Museum of Art is hosting its "Bash at The Blake."

This fundraising gala and art auction takes place Saturday (June 23) at The Blake at Taos Ski Valley, 116 Sutton Place.

As of press time, tickets are available for $175 per person. Couples can opt for a sponsorship level at $500. To purchase, call the Harwood at (575) 758-9826, ext. 105 or buy online at The full 32-page catalogue can also be viewed at this link. Some items have been presold in the auction preview.

An auction preview is today and Friday (June 21-22) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m at the Harwood Museum of Art, 238 Ledoux St. This "see it now, buy it now" event gives art patrons the opportunity to see and purchase items before the actual auction Saturday.

Linda Warning, president of the Harwood Alliance Board, noted that for the discerning art patron, this auction is a unique opportunity to add to one's collection. "And it's fun. We hold it at The Blake because so much of the artwork seen in this area is inspired by the mountains. The (Taos) Ski Valley is a great place to be," she said.

Indeed, some art patrons may choose to make a weekend out of it. For special Taos Ski Valley weekend packages and group hotel rates available June 20-26, call The Blake at (888) 569-1756.

The auction at TSV has a wide array of artworks available for bidding. In no particular order, among the listing of artists one can find E. Martin Hennings, Emil Bisttram, Gene Kloss, Ila McAfee, R.C. Gorman, Robert Ellis, Ken Price, Ted Egri, Gus Foster and Valerie Graves.

Also included is Taos resident Larry Bell, who presently has an exhibit ("Hocus, Focus and 12") on view at the Harwood.

"Larry Bell came to last year's auction and brought his dog Pinky. It's a very open event just like the Ski Valley. It's not stuffy at all," Warning said.

This year's event is shaping up to be even more fun as the space has expanded to accommodate more art and more bidders at the TSV Children's Center. Guests will even get a chance to ride on the newly installed gondolita.

Here's how it works: From 3:30-5:30 p.m. an auction preview as well as guided tours of The Blake art collection are planned. Cocktails and the silent auction will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Music will be provided by Big Swing Theory.

Then, at 7 p.m., the live auction will begin. Everyone will be given bidders cards. If you see an item that you want in the catalog but you can't be present for the auction, call the Harwood in advance. They will place bids for you during the auction.

"It's exciting -- when there's a piece you want and the gavel falls," Warning said.

The auctioneer is Alissa Ford of Heritage Auctions. She has been to Taos before, knows the area's art very well, and has experience with other auctions in Taos.

In a press announcement, the Harwood states that the values are based on estimates provided by donors and cosigners. Payment for all auction items, silent and live, is expected at close of auction.

Dinner follows after the auction at the192 Restaurant at The Blake.

The Harwood Museum of Art has a governing board designated by the University of New Mexico. The alliance board is the fundraising arm and membership group. "The Bash at The Blake" is a joint venture among the boards and museum staff. "We all work toward the same goal," said Warning.

The range of artists in the auction reflects the Harwood's mission, which is to represent the whole spectrum of Taos art. "We do receive funding from UNM," Warning explained, "but we need to raise money on our own for all of our program events and special needs that come up. This auction is an important fundraiser to continue and enhance children's programs and exhibitions."

As a fun approach, the Harwood labels auction supporters like ski runs: double black diamond, black diamond, blue square and green circle.

"We are so grateful to all of our supporters and there are so many who want to support the Harwood. When we asked for support, they were very receptive," Warning said.