Artwork donated for the Harvest Auction hangs at the Kenai Art Center on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Artwork donated for the Harvest Auction hangs at the Kenai Art Center on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Auction, juried show to showcase local talent

Kenai Art Center will host its annual Harvest Auction this weekend, juried art show next month

The Kenai Art Center’s Harvest Auction will come to a close Saturday with a live auction event featuring food, drinks and entertainment. Next week, the center will be accepting submissions for its next exhibit: the October Biennial Juried Show, which features Asia Freeman and Michael Walsh as jurors.

Kenai Art Center Executive Director Alex Rydlinski said the auction event, held annually, “is just a blast.”

“People really have a lot of fun. It’s a really good, kind of light-hearted atmosphere,” he said. “It’s a great place to find artwork and to see what’s happening with local artists.”

Unlike most events at the Kenai Art Center, the auction is a ticketed event. Rydlinski said tickets are nearly sold out, but they can still be purchased for $50 at the center during their business hours, which are Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.

The auction will start at 6 p.m. on Saturday, beginning with the final hour of a silent auction that has been taking place for some of the items all month.

Rydlinski said the silent auctions have been steadily rising, describing people coming in to check their bids and bump the totals up by $5.

Attendees will have the opportunity to place their final bids, then the live outcry auction will begin at 7 p.m., featuring Ryan Kapp as auctioneer.

“We have over 30 pieces of original artwork up for auction,” Rydlinski said. “We also have all kinds of items from around the community, like season tickets to the Oilers and the Brown Bears, airline tickets from Ravn, tickets to the Alaska Railroad and gift baskets from local breweries and businesses.”

Catering will be provided by The Hearth, with wine from Country Liquor and Alaska Berries, and beer from Kenai River Brewing Company.

“Everything people choose to buy is supporting the Kenai Arts Center,” Rydlinski said. “Supporting programs, keeping the lights on, and supporting maintenance of the historic building.”

After the Harvest Auction concludes this weekend, next week there will not be an exhibition featured at the center. During those business hours, from Wednesday to Saturday, submissions will be accepted for October’s Biennial Juried Show.

Artists can submit up to three works of art for consideration. Members of the center can submit for free, while non-members have to pay a $35 entry fee.

Jurors Asia Freeman and Michael Walsh are a married couple from Homer.

“They’re both sort of giants in the Homer community, and just the Alaskan art community in general,” Rydlinski said. “We’re really happy to have them as jurors.”

Freeman is the artistic director of the Bunnell Street Art Center in Homer.

“She’s just sort of had a whole life in the arts,” Rydlinski said. “She advocates for our work in Alaska at large.”

Walsh is a curator for the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis and also works for the University of Alaska Anchorage.

A submission form for the juried show can be found on the Kenai Art Center website at kenaiartcenter.org. Copies will also be available at the center. Art can be submitted from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28 through Saturday, Oct. 1. Jurors will make their selections on Sunday, Oct. 2.

The October Biennial Juried Show will have an opening reception on Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. The show will remain open until Oct. 29.

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