Monday, April 6, 2009

OPINION: Donating to Art auctions - love 'em? hate 'em? depends on the cause?

by Marc Awodey

  This is the first of our two OPINION questions for April. Considering it's IRS month and art donations used to be worth some sort of tax write off, this seems like an aprapos time to ask: Art auctions - love 'em? hate 'em? Depends on the cause? I've donated to four auctions so far this year, and my main reason has been to just get work out of my studio! But I liked the causes too. One is for a hospice in Addison county. Another was the "Fool's Gold" fund in which artists are raising money to make small grants to other artists in need. One was for the Democratic party, and another was for Helen Day Art Center.  It's usually depressing to know how badly pieces fare in auctions - but a couple who already owned a piece by me attended the HDAC auction, so the pieces I donated did rather well - raising $400 for the art center.  And a tidy sum for me since the HDAC was giving artists a percentage of the take, if requested. So I'm in the "auctions are ok" camp now... where are you?