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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Annual auction showcases Tucson’s finest

    Local art gallery Dinnerware Contemporary Arts will host its annual Art Auction fundraiser on Saturday.

    Located just west of North Stone Avenue on East Sixth Street, the gallery features nearly 100 different local artists, including UA students and faculty members, and contains works ranging from paintings and photography to sculptures and jewelry.

    “”We depend a lot on the UA. Five of our main interns are students,”” said Molly McClintock, a photography senior and Dinnerware’s associate director.

    One such intern is Roberta Gentry, a studio art senior. Gentry has been working as a volunteer intern since the beginning of the year and also has a painting in the auction.

    “”I’ve been painting since I was 13,”” Gentry said. Her painting “”The Exhibitionist”” took a year to complete, she said.

    “”I started that painting a year ago from a figure drawing I had done. I was thinking about texture and line at the time.””

    This will be Gentry’s first piece on display in Tucson.

    For inspiration, Gentry looks to multiple sources.

    “”I go through phases,”” she said. She notes architecture, landscapes and natural history as some recent influences.

    “”I’ll get interested in a certain subject and paint on that for a while and try different methods that fit with that subject,”” she said. Microorganisms provided inspiration for “”The Exhibitionists,”” she said. “”Bacteria, microscopic worms, that sort of thing.””

    Joseph Labate, an assistant professor of art and chair of the photography division at the School of Art, is one of the few faculty members with artwork included in the auction. A member of the gallery in the early ’90s, he has been a photographer for two decades and teaching at the UA for 16 years.

    “”I’ve given (Dinnerware) work for 20 years,”” said Labate, whose work examines the role new technology plays in modern photography, with innovations like digital cameras and computer programs like Photoshop.

    “”My work is addressing that at some level,”” he said.

    Labate’s piece “”Lemon”” is a collaborative effort with local artist Laura LaFave.

    Dinnerware has been a local art staple for more than 25 years, starting off as a co-op gallery between a group of local artists, McClintock said. A new gallery opens the first Saturday of every month and continues throughout the month. “”We have several art students this semester,”” said McClintock, who emphasized the importance of the auction to the gallery.

    “”This is our biggest event of the year. It’s our biggest fundraiser,”” she said.

    The artwork up for auction has been donated from various artists from all over Tucson, McClintock said. But not just anyone can participate. Contributing artists are selected through invitation only.

    “”It helps if we know the person and their work,”” McClintock said. McClintock also detailed the strong connection of the gallery with the UA.

    You can view the artwork up for auction now for free, and contribute any donations you want while there. The gallery’s hours are Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

    The auction will begin at 7 p.m., with a donation fee of $25 per person or $40 per couple. Collectors can also buy the art before the auction for a set price during the gallery’s silent auction today and tomorrow, McClintock said.

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