A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Behringer-Crawford’s freshArt auction goes virtual; continues tradition online, offers livestream bidding

Behringer-Crawford isn’t letting the pandemic stop its 28-year tradition of auctioning freshly-created art to benefit our community’s youth through its education programs.

Art lovers will still be able to view and bid on original paintings, drawings, ceramics, jewelry and more by talented regional artists, many creating their art “fresh” in Devou Park.

The only difference is that they will be bidding and buying on their cell phones and computers.

freshARTist Aleisa Yusko at work in Devou Park.

The freshART auction traditionally takes place in September at the museum at a gala attended by hundreds of art lovers. But with crowd limitations due to coronavirus concerns, museum executives decided to turn freshART 2020 into a virtual event, combining online bidding beginning Saturday, September 12 with a festive and interactive livestream finale on Sunday, October 4.

More than two dozen local artists have created new works for the freshART auction. Another two dozen have contributed items for silentART, a collection of previously completed pieces.  A highlight of the auction will be “Notre Dame Paris,” a pastel of the iconic French cathedral by the late artist Wolfgang A. Ritschel, featuring the spire lost in last year’s devastating fire. Buyers who want to get a live look at the offerings can do so at BCM, where they are on exhibit through October 4.  

To participate in the auction, register at freshART2020.givesmart.com with a secured credit card. Registrants will be able to place bids through their personal bidding centers and specify limits, automatic bids and donations.

Click image to go to website

The livestream auction, beginning at 6 p.m. on October 4, will be conducted by auctioneer H. David Wallace of Heritage Bank.  In addition to final bidding action, the interactive event will also include artist profiles and videos, trivia games, prizes, a “make-along” signature drink recipe with freshART mixologist Kelly Johnson and more.  All-inclusive tickets to the virtual finale are $50 per person, which includes a boxed picnic supper by Delish Dish of Covington to be enjoyed at home while watching the auction. Tickets for virtual access only are available for $15.  Non-ticket holders will be able to bid online but will not have access to the livestream activity.

“freshART has become an important annual tradition at BCM and an integral part of our mission of celebrating Northern Kentucky’s culture,” said the museum’s executive director Laurie Risch. “Our artists enjoy creating en plein air in Devou Park and displaying their talents, and our guests look forward to the opportunity to acquire unique additions to their collections.  We didn’t want to let either group down, so we reimagined freshART.”

BCM has formed a new Facebook group, freshART Fans, an online community for art-loving enthusiasts to share and learn more about freshART, including regular updates, bidding instructions, photos and videos of artists at work, and more. Join here.

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