Five years ago I submitted a print of The AGFA Bridge Over Ansco Lake and it ended up in a bidding war at BUILT, the charitable auction / fundraiser to help preserve Albany’s architecture.
In the past five years, I’ve submitted three Dream Windows to BUILT, and they’ve all found new homes.
Several of my award-winning photographs have landed in new locations thanks to BUILT.
And the money raised from the sale of those prints have helped fund the restoration and salvation of Albany’s historic structures.
Now it’s time for BUILT 2015. And of course, being the superstitious person that I am… certain traditions must be kept. And one of those traditions is the wearing of the pins.
As a participating artist in BUILT, I receive these sweet little handmade buttons to denote that je suis artiste. Yeah, I know that you’re supposed to only wear this year’s pin… but my affinity with BUILT is such that I felt like wearing every pin for the years of my participation. Four pins now. Five before the night concludes.
For the first time, I entered three artworks in BUILT that weren’t previously exhibited during any of my Competition Seasons. This includes one Dream Window (Dream Window 15: Washington Park Je T’Aime), one picture resurrected from my archive (Freihofer’s Ghost Sign), and one taken specifically for BUILT (Nipper’s Flip Side).
So this will be interesting. Three pieces making their display debuts.
I arrived at the Empire State Plaza Museum, this year’s host for BUILT. And right off the bat, I spotted my artworks – as well as a ton of other amazing artworks by the Capital District’s best sculptors, painters, photographers and mixed media artists. This is going to be good.
And right off the bat, before I could even blink an eye…
Nipper’s Flip Side picked up an opening bid. The bidder said that the plans for the artwork would be to send the piece to a relative who has a massive collection of Nipperie.
Sweet. Already one of my artworks will find a new home.
Then another bidder eyeballed Freihofer’s Ghost Sign. “If I win this,” he asked me, “will you sign the back?”
“I’ll sign it now if you want,” I replied.
He entered a bid. I signed and date-marked the back of the piece.
Two artworks claimed – so this means two pieces will find new and appreciative art walls.
And then came the bids for Dream Window 15: Washington Park Je T’Aime.
That’s right, I said bids.
Because my little Dream Window got caught in a nice little bidding war.
There it is, getting eyeballed and examined. People loved the shot of the bridge in winter. People loved the original postcards with romantic 100-year-old courting messages like “Would you like to spoon with me?” on them.
And eventually, the piece sold – the final bidders hovered over the bid sheets at the final moments. Winner.
Of course, inbetween all these moments, I took time to examine the other artworks. There were some amazingly incredible artistic constructs – in fact, I saw at least one artwork, a mid-transaction photo of the Madison Theater marquee called One Mad Son (the photo featured the lit marquee at night, with the “I” in Madison burned out).
There were some truly amazing pieces in the show. Breathtaking. And I know that there are buildings in the Albany area that are truly in need of restoration and preservation – and fundraising auctions like these can make the difference between keeping our history and losing it to the wrecking crane.
A truly wonderful night.
And I woke up this morning and thought… I know I have some ideas for BUILT 2016.
Better get started on ’em. Don’t want to wait too long. 😀