Martha Enson, of EnJoy Productions, will reprise her role as co-host of Vashon Center for the Arts’ live-streamed auction again this year, along with her partner in art and life, Kevin Joyce. (Courtesy Photo)

Martha Enson, of EnJoy Productions, will reprise her role as co-host of Vashon Center for the Arts’ live-streamed auction again this year, along with her partner in art and life, Kevin Joyce. (Courtesy Photo)

Annual auction offers art and more, from the comfort of home

The culmination of VCA’s art auction will be a free, live-streamed gala at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24.

The culmination of Vashon Center for the Arts’ three-week annual art auction, which has been open for viewing and bidding online for the past three weeks, will take place at a free live-streamed gala at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at vashoncenterforthearts.org.

Viewers are encouraged to tune in at 6:30 p.m. for the preshow.

The events’ local co-hosts, islanders Kevin Joyce and Martha Enson, of EnJoy Productions, will return to bring high-octane hijinks and humor to the proceedings, which will include special guest performances, on-air prize drawings for prizes and a Golden Ticket raffle, and a special fundraising appeal for VCA’s Blue Heron Education Center and scholarship programs.

Since early September, islanders have had a chance to check out almost 150 pieces of art and experiences being offered up for sale in the auction. Bidding for all the items, on vca.maxgiving.bid, will remain open until 7 p.m. on Sept. 24.

It’s the second year in a row that VCA has presented a live-streamed auction, though staff and board members of the arts organizations had hoped, this year, to hold the event in person

Allison Halstead Reid, the executive director of VCA, said that although the return to a live-streamed event was not what she wanted, she is still an optimist, given all that VCA has already survived during the pandemic.

“Thankfully, we’ve become quite seasoned at the live-stream broadcast so returning to a virtual event isn’t terribly difficult,” Halstead Reid said. “It’s the disappointment of plans changing again, and feeling that the pandemic has pushed us, and our community, to take a big step back. But I am an optimist. VCA has not only survived the past 18 months, thanks to our community, but we’ve kept every one of our programs going and we’ve done it safely.”

Halstead Reid added that fall classes are now underway at VCA, and that Kay White Hall has programming planned through 2022, thanks to rigorous safety protocols that were recently expanded to include proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test for all attendees.

She pointed out that VCA now has a full gallery calendar, and partnerships with Vashon Nature Center, Vashon’s school district, and others that are thriving, despite and even because of the pandemic. The arts center’s doors are open, she said, and islanders are stopping by.

“The encouragement from our daily visitors keeps us smiling,” she said. “There is so much to be grateful for.”

Halstead Reid is also excited about the bounty of art that is up for sale in this year’s auction. This year’s featured artists are VCA’s Notable Artists — Victoria Adams, Pam Ingalls, Erin Schulz, Kristen Reitz-Green, Morgan Brigs, Brian Fisher, and Cathy Sarkowsky.

In addition, local art-world luminary Julie Speidel also contributed “Dunbrody,” a new work she created just for VCA’s auction.

There’s more: a 14K Etruscan style ring, set with garnet, sapphire and diamond, handcrafted by Eric Heffelfinger, and Pakistani punk jewelry by Dannielle Carbonne. There are paintings by Gretchen Hancock, Hartmut Reimnitz, Jeff Good and Janice Wall. Terry Fletcher and Kari Ulatoski have donated new framed fiber art pieces, and there is also new photography from Michael Elenko and Kris Pedrin. Other art includes glass art from Brian Brenno and Bill Akers. Work by well-known Vashon ceramicists, including Marla Smith, Mary L. Robinson and Chris Beck, will sit side by side with those by Seattle ceramic artists, Larry Halvorsen, Liza Halvorsen, and Loren Lukens.

Those who are interested in bidding on travel experiences will find the chance to win stays in an apartment in Paris, a summer or winter vacation home at Mount Baker, and a place in Big White Ski Resort, in Canada. There are also Vashon-based experiences, including a Pollard Wine dinner and sailing excursions around the islands of Puget Sound.

To find out more about VCA’s auction, its fall educational offerings, and upcoming performances by acts including the Bruce Phares Piano Quartet, local singer-songwriter Kat Eggleston, Los Lobos, and the David Grisman Dawg Trio, visit vashoncenterforthearts.org.


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