Starry Starry Night moves indoors for 2011

After more than three decades, you might think the Starry Starry Night fundraiser for the Penticton Art Gallery might be getting a bit stale. But with artists constantly creating new work and curator Paul Crawford stirring the pot, the 34th annual auction should be quite the party.

Paul Crawford looks over an image of Marylin Monroe

After more than three decades, you might think the Starry Starry Night fundraiser for the Penticton Art Gallery might be getting a bit stale. But with artists constantly creating new work and curator Paul Crawford stirring the pot, the 34th annual auction should be quite the party.

While all the donated artworks and gift baskets are on display right now in the gallery, the gala and auction tomorrow evening has been moved to the ballroom at the Lakeside Resort, instead of the gallery and neighbouring Ikeda Garden.

Crawford said the move is partly a cost-cutting measure, to ensure that more of the funds raised go to support the gallery, which, like all arts organizations, is feeling the pinch of funding cutbacks. It also, he said, helps with the organization of the event, which was outgrowing the facilities at the gallery.

The gallery this year is also mixing things up with the theme. Instead of Van Gogh, this year the event is celebrating the legacy of the pop art movement, transporting the crowd back to the era of Andy Warhol’s factory. And, Crawford said, patrons are encouraged to get into the spirt of the event by digging out their finest 70’s clothes; you might even win a prize, he said.

The annual event is the gallery’s single biggest fundraiser, accounting for about 10 per cent of the annual budget.

“This year’s auction is our strongest auction yet and we couldn’t have done it without the incredible support of all the amazing artists, donors and sponsors of this years event,” said Crawford. “The Penticton Art Gallery has always received an incredible level of community support from our community’s amazing artists, regional businesses and individuals and this year is no different.”

Tickets for Starry Starry night are available now at the gallery or by phone at 250-493-2928. The event gets underway at 6 p.m., with two silent auctions ending at 8 p.m. followed by the main auction, which runs to 10 p.m.

The ticket price includes a tapas menu along with a host bar from 6 to 8 p.m., featuring the amazing wines of the Naramata Bench Winery Association.

All the donated artworks and packages can be viewed online  at pentictonartgallery.com. If you are not able to attend this years auction you can leave an advance bid at the gallery up to 4 p.m. on July 7 in person, 250-493-2928 or by e-mail at curator@pentictonartgallery.com.