Posts Tagged ‘Morris & Whiteside Galleries’

Could the Charleston Art Auction One Day Top $15 Million in Sales?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

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Work by Elizabeth O’Neill Verner

A few weeks ago I posted an entry here about our day on April 1, April Fool’s day and I mentioned that one of the professionals at Morris & Whiteside Galleries on Hilton Head Island, SC, had called to remind me it was April Fools day – while in the middle of an art auction in Scottsdale, AZ, which ended up selling over 15 million dollars of art. I was amazed that they could find such time to call me, but later was honored to have them pull my leg in the middle of such an event.

A reader e-mailed asking if they could move that auction here. I replied that they are already here, but have not reached the 15 million mark here – yet. This e-mail prompted me to ask Jack A. Morris, Jr. with the Charleston Art Auction and Scottsdale Art Auction to send us some info about what’s going on with these auctions. And he did.

I just want to add one point to the info Morris sent. Although the Charleston Art Auction takes place in Charleston, SC, this auction is a Southern event and an East of the Mississippi event. If you have some significant artworks that you would like to turn into cash and you’re reading this from North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, or even Rhode Island – give these folks a call. If you have works by Will Henry Stevens, George Biddle, Alfred Herber Hutty, Elizabeth O’Neill Verner, William Aiken Walker, – just to name a few – give them a call. You might also have works by regional artists still living that could bring you a nice return on your investment – who knows – give them a call.

One final point about Jack A, Morris. When you read that he was once head of the SC Arts Commission, that was the board and it was back in the 1970′s when the commission was more concerned with the arts in SC, not their image among other state arts agencies.

Charleston Art Auction

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Work by Alfred Herber Hutty

A licensed auctioneer for over twenty-five years, Morris has organized sales in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and South Carolina.  He is the organizing partner of Scottsdale Art Auction that recently sold over fifteen million dollars of American western, wildlife and sporting art on April 2, 2011. His roots, however, are in the South.  He was born in Macon, GA, educated at the University of South Carolina, is a former chairman of the South Carolina Arts Commission and author of the book, Contemporary Art of South Carolina.

For Morris, it is about creating an active secondary market to support collectors, galleries and others who need a trading center for fine art in Charleston similar to Sothebys, Christies and other auction houses scattered throughout the country. His partners, Ben Whiteside, Joe Sylvan and David Leahy have over fifty years combined experience in the auction business.

The plan is to establish Charleston Art Auction in the East to complement western auctions such as Scottsdale Art Auction, Coeur d’Alene Art Auction and Jackson Hole Art Auction. “We want to become an effective clearing house for those who need to sell paintings and sculpture by established artists,” said Sylvan “and most professional retail galleries are not set up to provide that service.”

“It is a building process that takes several years,” added Whiteside “and, as we enter our seventh year, we are confident we have the essentials in place to provide that service.” Conducted on the same weekend that Charleston Fine Art Dealers hold their Charleston Fine Art Annual, the auction draws collectors from throughout the United States and those buyers also help stimulate the local gallery economy.  The event has been sold out every year with standing room only and the auction this year will be held in a new, larger location at the Double Tree Hotel on Church Street on Saturday, November 5, 2011.

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Work by Shannon Smith

The nationally advertised sale already holds auction records for Jonathan Green, Mary Whyte, Pino and Ray Ellis, among others. Charleston galleries have also found the venue a great opportunity to showcase some of their emerging artists and begin to establish sale records on internet sites such as AskArt and ArtNet.

The auction has a website, (www.charlestonartauction.com) and live bidding is available on the internet and through a phone bank of six operators at the sale. The auction is conducted by nationally acclaimed auctioneer, Gerald Bowie and attendees have described the evening event as “exciting and entertaining.” Bidders have learned that they have to be on their toes with lots selling at the rate on one per minute, Bowie doesn’t waste any time. Consignments are now being accepted for the 2011 auction. For more information, visit the Charleston Art Auction offices at 171 King Street, Charleston, SC, or call 843/842-4433 or 843/722-2172.

Scottsdale Art Auction

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Work by Thomas Moran

There was standing room only for an eager crowd of Western art collectors in the Scottsdale Art Auction sales room on Saturday, April 2, 2011, in Scottsdale, AZ. When the hammer fell on the last of 411 items offered, sales totaled over $15,250,000.00.

Top lot for the auction was Thomas Moran’s oil, Indian Summer, Green River, WY (estimated at $3,500,000 to $5,500,000) that was fiercely contested by two telephone bidders before it fetched $4,159,000 to a buyer in the room. Other lots of special interest included Frederic Remington’s 27 inches by 40 inches oils, Pretty Mother of the Night-White Otter is No Longer a Boy, (estimated at $1,500,000 to $ 2,500,000) that brought $1,583,000 and The Wolves Sniffed Along the Trail but Came No Nearer, (estimated at $800,000 to $1,200,000) that reached $1,471,000; Charles M. Russell’s 20 ¼ inches by 30 inches watercolor, Turning the Leader, (estimated at $150,000 to $250,000) hammered down for $460,000.

The morning session was highlighted by G. Harvey’s cover painting,Mountain Mist, oil, 38 inches by 30 inches (estimated at $50,000 to $75,000) that brought $103,500 and Wet Weather Morning, oil, 20 inches by 16 inches (estimated at $15,000 to $20,000) that sold for $27,600.  With 90% of the first session lots selling to an enthusiastic crowd the stage was set for an afternoon featuring works by the Taos Founders, Cowboy Artists of America and legendary paintings and sculpture by Russell, Remington and Moran.

Notable achievements included Bert Phillips’ 24 inches by 20 inches oil,Song of the Yellow Flower, (estimated at $250,000 to $350,000) that sold for $322,000; Ernest Blumenschein’s White Sun, 20 inches by 16 inches, oil (estimated at $250,000 – $350,000) that brought $287,500 and a small, 10 inches by 7 inches oil by William Gollings (estimated at $40,000 – $60,000) that fetched $80,500.

Among contemporary Western masters, Tom Lovell stunned the crowd with Bad Face Strategy, oil, 24 inches by 36 inches (estimated at $125,000 – $175,000) that sold for $402,500 and Lewis and Clark Keep Their Journals, a 20 inches by 36 inches oil (estimated at $100,000 – $150,000) that brought $253,000. Other contemporary paintings of note included Howard Terpning’s Blackfeet Among the Aspens, oil, 46 inches by 26 inches (estimated at $225,000 $325,000) that hammered for $281,750; Robert Griffing’s Into the Unknown, oil, 30 inches by 50 inches (estimated at $60,000 – $90,000) that hit $161,000 and Melvin Warren’sA Cold Day on the North Bosque, oil, 36 inches by 60 inches (estimated at $70,000 – $90,000) that brought $149,500. John Coleman led all sculptors when his Explorer Artist Series, complete set of ten bronzes (estimated at $225,000 to $275,000) reached $299,000 and Frederic Remington’s iconic Bronco Buster, (estimated at $75,000 to $125,000) sold for $138,000.

With 86% of the 411 items sold, seventy-five lots exceeded the high estimate and the total sale exceeded the total low estimates by 18%. Over 400 potential bidders in the room and a telephone bank of 10 operators keep auctioneer Troy Black on his toes for over six hours.  Scottsdale Art Auction has clearly emerged the leader among auction houses for American Western, sporting and wildlife art.

For a complete list of all sales results visit (www.scottsdaleartauction.com). Sale date for 2012 has been set for Saturday, March 31, 2012.

The Day of April Fools and the Broad Street Art Walk in Charleston, SC

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

April 1st for us started on March 31, 2011, at about 10:15pm when we loaded up the April 2011 issue of Carolina Arts on our website at (www.carolinaarts.com) – all 71 pages of it. By midnight I had sent out an e-mail message to our growing list, posted notices on both our blogs,Carolina Arts Unleashed and Carolina Arts News, as well as making posts on our Facebook pages. At that point our job was done for another month and it was off to the races for May’s issue.

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Well, we actually got to go to bed for a few hours. The morning was spent dealing with all the return e-mails, with comments, a few problems, and some congratulations. The day soon turned to the normal operating procedures – more e-mail, processing press releases and photos, and answering a few people’s questions who are already thinking about the May issue.

Unlike some publications that throw a party every time they produce an issue – we go back to work.

In the old days, I would be heading for bed by 4pm to get up about 10 or 11pm to head out on one of my delivery routes – driving all night from city to town to city, dropping off papers at the door fronts of galleries, museums, art centers and tourism welcome centers. By the afternoon I would be back at home – reload the car, pack my breakfast and lunch, head back to bed to start the cycle all over again for four days. But, these days, once the paper is finished and launched it’s just another day at the computer. I miss my trips, but I’m finding other ways to get my road miles in – like actually going to galleries, museums and art centers – while they are open and writing blog entries about what I saw there.

And one of the benefits of this change is that Linda and I were going to be able to go to our first First Friday art walk on Broad Street in downtown Charleston, SC. In the past, once every blue moon a first Friday might fall on the 6th or 7th of the month, but depending on when we got the printed paper – I could still be on the road, so we were not getting to many art walks. Which was a shame as we, through Charleston Arts, our first version of our arts newspaper helped start the thing off in Charleston.

Just before we were about to leave the house to head for Charleston I got a call from our biggest supporter, Morris Whiteside Galleries on Hilton Head Island, SC, which was strange as we knew they were in Scottsdale, AZ, for their annual art auction in that city. I can’t go into the call’s details, but it was about a BIG problem with the April issue and they weren’t too happy. I could see my biggest supporter slipping away, but within a few sentences I stopped my caller and asked if he wasn’t making a fool of me and he couldn’t hold it back. Unfortunately for him and fortunately for me I had read an e-mail earlier in the day which usually goes to Linda from one of the other partners and everything was fine. It also helped that they have tried these crank calls a few times before and after all it was April 1st – the foolin’ didn’t last too long.

He had me for a few seconds, but I’m a natural born skeptic and as my old priest said a long time ago – I was named well – after the apostle known as “Doubting Thomas”. He always said I asked too many questions.

The good news today as I’m writing this is that the Scottsdale auction did over $15 million in sales. That’s no joke. But, I have to say, it’s nice that everyone in the art world is not always so serious. People can be professional and serious and have fun too.

But getting back to Apr. 1st, after my heart rate returned to normal, we got in the car and headed toward Charleston, which is usually a little more than an hour’s ride from the headquarters of Carolina Arts on the shores of Lake Moultrie.

I was giving us an hour and a half for good measure and once we hit I-26 around North Charleston we soon realized we were going to be late. It was the Cooper River Bridge Run weekend – cars were stacked up flowing into downtown Charleston. We were trapped in the slow moving parking lot until we got to a spot where I could turn off the main roads – East Bay, Meeting, and King Streets (in this case King Street). But having lived in Charleston for a third of our lives in this area we soon got to the Broad Street area – 30-40 minutes before most other cars in those lines would weaving through the back streets. And, we found a good parking space to boot.

The first place I wanted to stop at was Smith Killian Fine Art, which is not on Broad Street and not part of the Broad Street art walk, but I knew they were having an opening for the exhibit, Intersections: Figurative Works by Shannon Smith, featuring a solo exhibition by gallery artist Shannon Smith, on view through Apr. 30, 2011. She is one of my favorite artists. I love the way she paints light.

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Work by Shannon Smith from the exhibit.

But on the way, I noticed that the door was still open over at Nina Liu and Friends, a few doors down State Street from Smith Killian, so we stuck our heads in the door and as usual Nina Liu was showing off her new exhibit,Icons for Meditation, featuring works by papermaker Arthur McDonald, which wouldn’t officially open until Sunday, and would be on view through Apr. 30, 2011.

You see in Charleston, traditionally – things are done differently than anywhere else. Galleries are so condensed throughout the downtown area and parking is spread out throughout the downtown area that even if one area is having an art walk – all galleries in town may have their doors open and even when they are not open – people will knock on your door or ring your doorbell until you do open. If you’re downtown and you find a good parking space – you want to see all that you can.

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Work by Arthur McDonald

In Nina Liu’s case – her gallery is officially open until 5pm on a Friday and at 6pm – she still wasn’t able to close her door as people just kept coming and going. Just when you think the last person was going – another couple or group would stick their head in the door – “Are you open?” As a veteran of 25 years of managing an art gallery in Charleston, Liu knew she had no choice and was even gracious enough to be running up and down her stairs to bring a glass of wine to unexpected visitors. This was an opportunity for people who might not come back to Charleston for a Sunday reception to see Arthur McDonald’s show and Liu has a reputation of going all out for her artists.

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Work by Arthur McDonald

In fact, Liu actually retired two years ago and has been trying to sell her gallery/home in this historic district of Charleston, but in this housing market downturn has had no luck. Frankly, we don’t want her to leave, but if you would like to live in historic Charleston or would like to have a ready-made art gallery you could live in – give her a call at 843/722-2724. She’s had another home waiting for her for two years South of the Border. Perhaps you can help her leave, but like this evening – she just doesn’t seem to be able to close the door on this chapter of her life.

Soon we head back to the plan – Smith Killian Fine Art, the home to the most talented family in Charleston – Betty Anglin Smith, and her grown triplets – Jennifer Smith Rogers, Tripp Smith, and Shannon Smith. Tonight the spotlight was on Shannon. This exhibit was the first time an entire collection of oil paintings exploring the figure was being presented by this artist. And, with most of her works – it’s the glow of the lighting she paints which draws people to what might be considered ordinary scenes and subjects.

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Before our stay at the gallery is finished I made the mistake which has probably been made a thousand times in addressing Jennifer as if she was Shannon. After all they are two of triplets, but it’s no big deal to them at this point in their lives. They’re both very attractive, talented and poised. Their mother taught them well. Tripp Smith – he’s easy to spot – he has a beard.

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This is Jennifer Smith Rogers, not Shannon – notice her name tags – I didn’t.

It’s been a while since we’ve had the opportunity to socialize in Charleston’s gallery community so I was surprised to see a very abstract painting by Betty Anglin Smith. It seems mom still has a few tricks left to show us and if you’ve followed my writings you know how much I like abstract art. Betty does what might be called abstracted realism paintings – works with loose strokes, but plain enough to see what the work is, (Shannon’s works in this exhibit were like this too – abstracted realism) but in this case she had let loose and gone totally abstract.

Both Linda and I really liked this work, Currents III. My photo doesn’t do it justice. If you like abstracts, go see this fast before Linda and I find a way to put a second mortgage on the house.

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Currents III by Betty Anglin Smith

I’m not trying to take any of the spotlight away from Shannon’s show – her works are fantastic and they’ll be moving out the door pretty fast too, but I just get excited when I see well done abstracts. Most people can’t see the beauty of abstracts – they want them to mean something or represent something – like the public expects from all art. They just can’t see and enjoy the combination of colors and strokes placed on a canvas. They’re always looking for something in what you might call missing the forest to see a tree. So, I admire an artist who ventures into the world of abstracts, knowing that the potential for sales is much lower and when they are done well – I can’t keep my eyes off them. I call it the curse of William Halsey, but I thank William every time I see a good abstract – his works opened my mind.

I might be getting off track here – what else is new, but I think this is a good time to say – Eva’s back! I’m referring to Eva Carter, another great abstract painter who closed her gallery in Charleston a few years ago to settle into painting at her Wadmalaw Island home and studio. I don’t blame her one bit, but she recently opened a small studio at 6 Gillon Street, just around the corner from where her gallery was on East Bay street – now the home of Mickey Williams Studio-Gallery. I haven’t been able to catch her there yet, but I will. Yes I will.

OK – Broad Street Art Walk. Broad Street, once the home to Charleston’s lawyer community has become the home of a dozen or so art galleries. The lawyers, who make too much money in my opinion, but thank your lucky stars if you know a good one when you need one, have grown out of most of the smaller Broad Street spaces and have moved to towering palaces throughout Charleston. These Broad Street galleries, most members of the French Quarter Gallery Association (started 18 years ago), decided that four art walks a year were not enough so they started presenting art walks every first Friday of the month, so that during some months the French Quarter Gallery Association and Broad Street Gallery Row art walks are happening at the same time and during the month of November, it’s the Gallery Row and the Charleston Fine Art Dealer’s Association sharing a first Friday art walk. It’s quite a gallery community that can host three gallery groups – all in a four square block area.

I see another side track ahead. I almost forgot to mention this, but when I was at Nina Liu and Friends, Liu handed me an old copy of Charleston Arts, Vol. 5, No. 11, our Mar. 1993 issue. I know the copy well. The headline is – “French Quarter Gallery Association Forms”. The article goes on to talk about how the group came together and that their first art walk would take place on May 14 and 15, 1993 (not a first Friday). I say I know it well like I know the history of the FQ. You see we helped the group get started, I designed it’s first logo, I used to layout their invitations and got them printed and distributed them to the galleries and around Charleston. We even ran free ads to promote the art walks for years. So some of you might be a little confused when I said in the previous paragraph that the FQ was only 18 years old.

You see, some folks decided to celebrate the FQ’s 2Oth anniversary a few years back. I didn’t make a big fuss about it then and I won’t now, but I wouldn’t take any part in it. The economy was crashing and they felt they needed a little boost to celebrate – hoping to bring people into the galleries. I wonder if they’ll do it again in 2013 or will they shoot for a 25th anniversary? I’ve told you before – running a gallery and keeping the doors open – is a tough business. And most art communities don’t have to deal with someone who has been around as long as I have and has an archive of accurate records of what took place – and when it took place. Most people writing about the arts today weren’t even here five or ten years ago. Most were still watching the Smurfs 20 years ago. That’s right, I’m old.

Nina Liu wants me to write a book about Carleston’s art community – more like a history of what was going on during the years we’ve been publishing an arts newspaper here. It would make for some interesting reading. A few chapters would be revealing, to say the least, and I might do it – when I retire.  But, until them – a few of you still have time to leave town before the truth is told. If you think I don’t pull any of my punches now – just wait. In Charleston, the truth is stranger than fiction.

Back on the main track. A few months back when we were making the transition from a printed newspaper to an electronic paper I was talking with Jerry Spencer of Spencer Art Galleries on Broad Street. He mentioned that it had been some time since he had seen me or Linda in their gallery, which was true – for good reasons as I have explained, so we definitely wanted to change that. He and his wife Catherine have two gallery spaces, next to each other on Broad – actually South of Broad – it’s a big difference being South of Broad, just read Pat Conroy’s book. They are both gallery owner/artists – which is a trick.

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Outside one of their galleries was a musician playing a guitar. Music has become one of the differences between Gallery Row art walks and FQ art walks. It’s a nice way to stop people walking the sidewalks and get them to wonder what’s going on inside the galleries – if they didn’t know about the event ahead of time. In a tourist town – that happens a lot. People can be out just enjoying walking around the city – the next thing they know – they’re in a discussion about art and maybe having a glass of wine. But not at Spencer Art Gallery. They have made the decision to return the arts walks to – all about art – not tasting wine from gallery to gallery. And, I agree on that. The art walks were becoming an event where the art galleries were throwing a party for Charleston and College of Charleston students. It was becoming less about art and more about a party. That’s changing.

As usual, when viewing lots of art all in a short span of time, I’m drawn to what is different and unusual. It might be a disservice to all the good art I see along the way, but it’s just the way I am and at Spencer Art Gallery I found two artists who’s works stood out. It’s not that they were better than others. All art is subjective to the beholder, but some items catch your attention more than others for one reason or another. The first was a display of fine art prints by Pat Van de Graff. I just don’t see fine art prints much in galleries. You see lots of paintings, crafts, and sculptures, but not that many prints. At least I don’t see them that often. I’m not talking about reproduction prints of original paintings, I’m talking about images made by fine art printing processes. Van de Graff was showing some very nice works and some other folks were in agreement with me as some were being sold – right in front of me.

The other artist who caught my eye was Uriv Petrov, a Russian immigrant who now lives in Myrtle Beach, SC. I’d swear I’ve seen his work before, but I can’t put my finger on it. It will come to me next week in the middle of doing something else.

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My photos again don’t do justice, but the works are very colorful and the imagery and patterns of the works just seem to jump off the canvas into your eyes. They demand attention and the style and technique is different – something hard to pull off in a region full of talented, creative artists. Perhaps his edge is coming from a different environment – a different school of thought when it comes to art. But, this artist was untrained – maybe that was the key.

Anyway, it was a long eventful day, capping off a very long work week for us and we were headed to Myrtle Beach, early the next day, so we headed back to Bonneau.

If Linda and I could break away from our busy schedules to go see some art – so can you. You don’t have to wait for an art walk.

5th Charleston Art Auction Takes Place in Charleston, SC – Nov. 6, 2010

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

This is the big event in Charleston for long-time or first-time art collectors. Charleston’s entire visual art community will be putting it’s best on display this weekend. The auction is an interesting event in itself. You can read what I’ve said about it in a previous posting at this link.

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Read about this year’s event here:

The first weekend in November traditionally marks the Charleston Fine Art Annual hosted by the Charleston Fine Art Dealers’ Association (CFADA) in Charleston, SC’s Historic District. On Nov. 3, 5-6, 2010, CFADA welcomes once again avid art collectors and nationally renowned artists to celebrate the diverse fine art that the growing art market of Charleston has to offer. The weekend filled with art events features art openings at CFADA member galleries, plein air painting, an art auction and lectures. Proceeds will benefit Charleston County High Schools’ fine art programs.

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Work by Elizabeth O’Neill Verner

Saturday evening, Nov. 6, 2010, is dedicated to the 5th Charleston Art Auction. This elegant evening presented by the Charleston Art Auction features a preview/reception at 6pm followed by an art auction at 7pm. The auction features historically significant paintings and drawings together with contemporary works by recognized American artists.

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Work by Mary Whyte

“The Charleston Art Auction is privileged to participate in the Charleston Fine Art Dealers Association’s 12th Charleston Fine Art Annual, a premier weekend featuring over twenty-five leading artists, exhibiting at CFADA member galleries and painting in Washington Park,” said Jack A. Morris, Jr. of Morris & Whiteside Galleries. “Collectors are invited to watch the artists at work in Washington Park on Saturday morning from 9am until noon and make arrangements to leave Absentee Bids on works in progress at the park. All works will be framed and brought to the Marriott Renaissance Hotel, 68 Wentworth Street, for a cocktail preview on Saturday evening from 5-7 pm.”

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Work by Rhett Thurman

The plein air works will then be incorporated in the live Charleston Art Auction, blended throughout the sale following lot #32 and lot #82. The entire proceeds from the sale of the plein air pieces, including Buyer’s Premium, will benefit the Charleston County High Schools’ fine art programs.

Works presented in the auction (except works created that day in Washington Park) can be previewed on Nov. 6, from 10am-7pm at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel.

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Work by Shannon Smith

Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited. Tickets are $50 per person (this includes a fully illustrated sales catalogue). The Marriott Renaissance Hotel offers a special group rate for the weekend. Call 800/605-1498 and ask for the Charleston Art Auction group rate.

If you can’t be there in person to make your bids, absentee and telephone bid arrangements can be made by calling 843/842-4433. You can view the auction catalogue online at this link.

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Work by Alfred Hutty

The Charleston Art Auction was founded in 2006 by Morris & Whiteside Galleries located in Hilton Head Island, SC, and The Sylvan Gallery located in Charleston, as the premier Southern art auction. Please visit (www.charlestonartauction.com) for more information.

The Charleston Fine Art Annual raises funds that keep art alive in local high schools. Since 2004, CFADA has donated over $150,000 to art programs at eleven local high schools. “With each passing year, we receive less and less funding for art programs,” says Jim Braunreuther, fine arts coordinator for the Charleston County School District. “It concerns me greatly as art classes give students focus, discipline and a sense of belonging. They build motivation and empathy, teaching them to be self-starters and committed.”

Founded in 1999, the Charleston Fine Art Dealers’ Association is the source of fine art in the South and consists of the city’s prominent galleries. The association promotes Charleston as a fine art destination for avid collectors and passionate art enthusiasts and supports the artists of the future. CFADA has donated more than $170,000 to local high schools, the Gibbes Museum of Art, Redux Art Center and the Studio Art Department at the College of Charleston.

CFADA member galleries include: Ann Long Fine Art, Carolina Galleries, Charleston Renaissance Gallery, Corrigan Gallery, Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art, Horton Hayes Fine Art, Martin Gallery, Robert Lange Studios, Smith-Killian Fine Art, The Sylvan Gallery, and Wells Gallery.

For more information on CFADA, please visit (www.cfada.com) and for ticket reservations for the auction call 843/842-4433.

4th Charleston Art Auction Takes Place Nov. 7, 2009, in Charleston, SC

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

The 4th Charleston Art Auction will start at 7:15pm on Nov. 7, 2009, at the Renaissance Charleston Hotel, located at 68 Wentworth Street, in historic downtown Charleston, SC. If you want to be in on one of the most exciting events taking place in Charleston’s visual art community – you better get cracking right away to make sure you have a seat with your name on it.

Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited. Tickets are $50 (contributed to the Charleston County High School Art Programs, this includes a fully illustrated sales catalogue) per person. For ticket reservations call 843/722-0128 or 843/842-4433. The Renaissance Charleston Hotel offers a special group rate for the weekend. Call 800/605-1498 and ask for the Charleston Art Auction group rate.

The Charleston Art Auction was founded in 2006 by Morris & Whiteside Galleries located in Hilton Head Island, SC, and The Sylvan Gallery located in Charleston, as the premier Southern art auction. Auction principals Jack A. Morris, Jr., J. Ben Whiteside and David G. Leahy have over twenty-five years experience presenting fine art to collectors throughout the United States.

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Mark Horton

Artists presented will include Bobby Bagley, William Berra, Joe Bowler, Armand Cabrera, James Calk, Marc Chatov, Elaine Coffee, Jim Daly, John Carroll Doyle, Ray Ellis, Ted Ellis, Dan Gerhartz, Cassandra Gillens, Glenna Goodacre, Lindsay Goodwin, Russell Gordon, Jonathan Green, Chris Groves, Michael Harrell, Betsy Havens, Nancy Hoerter, Mark Horton, Mandy Johnson, Karin Jurick, Michael B. Karas, Milt Kobayashi, Jeff Legg, Joseph Lorusso, Dan McCaw, Danny McCaw, Dean Mitchell, Joseph Orr, George Pate, Pino, Joan Potter, Laura Robb, Jennifer Smith Rogers, Helen Rundell, Shannon Runquist, Marilyn Simandle, Betty Anglin Smith, Linda Kyser Smith, Shannon Smith, Loran Speck, Linda St. Clair, Sue Stewart, John Stobart, Rhett Thurman, Michelle Torrez, Karen Larson Turner, William Whitaker, Mary Whyte, Mickey Williams and Stephen Scott Young.

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Mary Whyte

This year there will also be an expanded offering of important works by deceased Southern masters including: John J. Audubon, J. Stewart Barney, Wenonah Day Bell, Virginia Fouché Bolton, Richard J. Bryan, Valeria Chisolm, Eliot Clark, Bette Lee Coburn, Jesse Conklin, George Cress, Edward von S. Dingle, Frank Galsworthy, William Halsey, Alfred Hutty, Joseph Jackson, Minnie Mikell Katherine Huger Middleton, Augusta Oelschig, May Paine, Hobson Pittman, Antoinette Rhett, Hattie Saussy, William Posey Silva, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, Warren F. Snow, Stanley Sobossek, George W. Sully, David Thimgan, Eugene White and George Hand Wright, among others.

If you don’t know much about these artists, you can always go to Google and type in a name and then Carolina Arts, and most likely you’ll find an article we have posted sometime since 1999 about the artist. You can see images from the catalogue at (www.charlestonartauction.com). Of course the best thing is to register and get your hands on the auction catalogue – which has images, info, price estimates, and other info about how the auction operates.

I’m interested in Lot #64, a lithograph by Alfred Hutty which is very similar to one we own. And, I found the etchings by Antoinette Rhett very interesting – I haven’t seen a lot of her works before. She took lessons from Hutty in Charleston and you can see it. There are six prints by this artist in Lot #77. These prints could go for as little as $250 each – that is if you are the high bidder and it goes for the high end of the estimate ($1,200 – $1,500), plus the 15% premium. Don’t forget about the buyer’s premium. It will be added to the final high bid. So when you figure what you are willing to pay for one of the Lots, don’t forget to add 15% to that figure to get the final price you will pay. If you go prepared – you won’t be surprised during the auction.

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Alfred Hutty

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Antoinette Rhett

These images were scanned from the auction catalogue, so they are not the best reproductions.

Also be aware that the bidding goes up in different increments depending on the estimate of the work up for bidding. Like if you we making a bid on Lot #28 an oil painting by John Stobart – estimate ($30,000 – $50,000) the auctioneer will raise the bids in increments of $2,500 a pop. You’re not going to hear the auctioneer asking for a bid of $30,100 – it will be $32,500. Research!, Research!, Research! Of course most of the evening it will be increments of $100 and $250.

Another bonus to the auction will be the offering of works created during the ever-popular plein air event, Painting in the Park. The event takes place at Washington Park in Charleston on the Saturday morning of the auction as part of the Charleston Fine Arts Annual, hosted by the Charleston Fine Arts Dealer’s Association. These works created by artists represented by the CFADA member galleries will be auctioned off at the Charleston Art Auction to benefit the Charleston County High Schools’ art programs. Which to this date has raised $140,000 for those art programs.

Wow, that’s a lot of art – a lot of opportunity to be the highest bidder on one of these contemporary works or those by a now famous deceased Southern master.

The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat – the auction will run like a fast paced sporting event where if you take your eye off the ball – someone else will walk away with the prize of the day. Yes, there will be intoxicating libations, scrumptious morsels, and gossip, to distract you, but if you are serious about grabbing that brass ring – be in your seat, be focused, and raise your bidding number high – for tomorrow you can rest – knowing you brought home the bacon. And, tomorrow the gossip will be about you.

How can you not be there?

Well, collectors who are unable to attend the sale in person should contact Charleston Art Auction to make arrangements for absentee and telephone bidding prior to 5pm on Nov. 6, 2009. Call 843/722-0128 or 843/842-4433.

The sale results will be posted at (www.charlestonartauction.com) the week following the sale.