Tastes of the Palette celebrates art, food and community

The 2015 Tastes of the Palette auction may be the most exciting that the Penticton Art Gallery has put on in years.

Baigneuse Debout

Baigneuse Debout

The 2015 Tastes of the Palette auction may be the most exciting that the Penticton Art Gallery has put on in years.

“I think it is the strongest auction I have had the pleasure of putting on,” said Paul Crawford, Penticton Art Gallery co-ordinator.

Crawford said people are getting excited about the annual fundraiser, both organizers and potenial buyers.

Part of that excitment comes from including a rare, signed copy of Klee Wyck, the autobiogrpahical novel that earned painter Emily Carr a Governor General’s Award for literature.

But that was just one of the treasures Crawford managed to find for this year’s auction.

“The traditional method has been to go hat in hand out to our little arts community and beg, plead and grovel,” said Crawford, explaining that while many are happy to give, it is hard going back to the same people.

So this year, along with going to the local arts community, Crawford began making acquisitions.

“I would seek things out and keep my eyes open for opportunities that might pop up,” he said.

Crawford was looking for items that were catalogued wrong, misrepresented or just being sold in the wrong place, that he could acquire and bring back to the gallery to add diversity to the auction collection.

“Like that Emily Carr name, it brings a different clientele and it brings a different level of interest,” said Crawford. “They may have come for the Emily Carr but now they are going to discover anew local artist they might not have known before.”

While the proof of Crawford’s strategy comes with the auction itself, he said he’s already had a whole new group of people coming by the gallery.

The Penticton Art Gallery’s 38th annual art auction fundraiser will be held June 27, 2015 from 6  to 11 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $60 for gallery members and $65 for non-members.

Among the many pieces available for purchase during the auction is Baigneuse Debout, a mi-jambes, an etching by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. A leading painter in the development of the impressionist style and a master of portraying the female form, Renoir’s paintings and etchings often depicted women, and his portraits were among his most popular and critically acclaimed subjects.

The many pieces available in the auction also includes works from several local artists like Glenn Clark and Bethany Handfield, the 2015 Meadowlark Nature Festival artist and the 2014 Thea Haubrich Award of Excellence recipient.

This year’s auction offers works from over 50 artists, along with hors d’oeuvres by some of the region’s finest chefs, regional wines, hand crafted beer and more.

Crawford said that adding something like a concert helps make the art world more approachable for any who feels intimidated by art.

“If I would put a concert on in a gallery, people would feel comfortable going to a gallery. And if you have food, food always seems to trump everything else,” said Crawford.

The restaurants are amazing supportive, according to Crawford and are constantly willing to step up to the plate.

“It’s all in the arts at the end of the day.  And it is fun for the chefs to step up and create something unique,” he said. “It’s fun to see people be creative in their fields and get passionate about what they are doing.”