Organizing an Art Auction in Ventura at WAV

On July 19th, 2014 an Art Auction was held for the WAV Artists in conjunction with the Ventura ArtWalk. It featured 20 artists from the community and 31 art works. There was a decent turn out, despite the rain, and half of the art found new homes. The auction facilitated artists selling new work, making new connections, and also raising money for a local arts non profit.

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The Art Auction itself was organized and staffed fully by volunteers: 1 organizer for record keeping (me), 2 key sponsors, and 6 volunteers. Several weeks of planning took place before the event and a couple weeks after to complete the transactions. Key elements in planning included:

  • Create an online form for item submission process. Used a free online form service called wufoo on the free site A digital record of all entires was really helpful in coordinating all the other materials needed for the event.
  • Invite to Artists to submit artwork. This was done via phone calls and person invitation within the exiting artist network of WAV. Participating artists included: Bill JeraldsCatlin Blair HarveyChristopher BrownDiane IppelErik AbelFrances SpencerGeoff PocockJackie WoodsJillian NyeLynn CreightonMark Mullgaard, Michael Sullivan, Mitra ClinePete IppelRay HarrisSaint PierreSarah Willey, Scott Gordon.
  • Auction signage. Connect Ventura sponsored the event and we put up temporary window signs, by Barber Signs, a few weeks before the event to promote it. Day of we printed out bid sheets and door signs to clarify the process along with a volunteer contact list for coordinating security and general information.

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  • Permits and such for tax collection etc.
  • Payment processing capabilities. All transaction were electronically recorded via square so that there could be transparency regarding all financial matters.
  • trafficInvited community to buy art. Marketing started 5 months before the event through social media channels. Campaign included printed flyers, email newsletters, and social media posts. Marketing started in Match but the Art Auction itself was not advertised until 2 weeks for the event.

Personally it was very encouraging to see the Ventura Art community come out to see their friends and also meet new artists.  Over all the art that sold was between the range of $50-$250. On a zero budget we managed to engage the community, sell art and also donate about $500 for their next event.