by Mickey Myers
Bryan Memorial Gallery is presenting its first ever on line art auction, a fundraising event, featuring 71 donated artworks. The auction raises operating funds for the non-profit art gallery, devoted to New England landscape painting.
On Line Art Auctions, as a vehicle for fundraising, have increased in popularity nationwide, with some presenters raising a major portion of their operating funds from such events. While Bryan Gallery has held silent auctions as a feature of its fundraising efforts in the past, this is the first time the gallery has isolated the event and limited its presentation exclusively to the Internet.
It’s a new step for us, and two weeks before its conclusion, so far, so good. In the past, the Gallery had heard from many of its patrons from far away that they could not get to the annual gala, which featured a silent auction, but wanted to see what was available and bid from afar. After colleagues weighed in with reports of the success of their on line art auctions, the Bryan Gallery Board was willing to give it a try, separating it from a public event.
Most gratifying so far has been the generosity of artists and donors of artwork. We even had many artists who were new to us offering artwork to the auction, and an increased number of donations over previous years. Many of the artists are familiar from their association with the gallery, such as Eric Tobin and Julie Y Baker Albright. Others are historic figures from the area, such as Walton Blodgett and Robert Barrett.
The Gallery hired the services of the On Line Auction Company, Bidding Owl, which came recommended from associates, and has proven to be quite user friendly. Bryan Gallery Manager, Tom Waters, whose responsibility was building the site, expressed appreciation for the easy procedure of posting the auction.
He noted that the auction concludes on Saturday, November 11 at 6 PM, and he’s expecting an increase in the number of visitors to the gallery’s website between now and then. “We expect the last few days to be busy with bids and phone calls. We’ve re-enforced the staff for the grand finale, and all of us are ready to assist the bidders if necessary.”
So far, there have even been some outright sales from the website. The Internet has made it possible for us to connect with art lovers everywhere. Some may visit us on their annual vacations, and increasingly, they stay in touch throughout the year via our website and blog, and social media. We do it all, and it makes a difference.
Bryan Memorial Gallery’s On Line Art Auction can be accessed through the gallery’s website: www.bryangallery.org.