The Kenai Fine Art Center and KDLL Public Radio are hosting a joint online art auction throughout the month of April.
The pieces up for bid, which are on display at Veronica’s Cafe in Old Town Kenai, are all crafted by peninsula artists.
Marion Nelson, president of the Peninsula Art Guild, said the gallery will use fundraised dollars to improve the art center’s building, formerly the site of the volunteer police and fire department.
“We’ve had plans in the works for almost three years to renovate the back part of the building so it will become a viable workshop,” Nelson said. “We have so many needs right now.”
She hopes to host various art classes at the Fine Art Center building in the future.
Nelson took an encaustic class in Anchorage years ago and was hooked immediately. Encaustic is a painting style in which pigmented wax is melted with damar resin to create abstract compositions. She donated one of her pieces for the auction.
Other artists putting their pieces up for bid include Angela Bell, Sue Biggs, Abbey Ulen, Chere’ Avigo, Jason Ramirez, Melinda Hershberger, Susie Scrivner, Lori Engler, Sandra Sterling, Dan Verkuilen, Kaitlin Vadla and Emily Kornelis.
KDLL General Manager Jenny Neyman can be credited for the online auction idea.
“It’s been difficult to do fundraising during COVID,” she said. “For some folks, art has been a pretty good stress relief and for others it’s been hard to be creative.”
Nearly all of KDLL’s in-person events have been canceled in the last year because of the pandemic.
“The trick, of course, was that we still wanted the art to be viewab le in person,” Neyman said. “Veronica’s very graciously allowed us to use their space for April.”
KDLL is a federally funded public radio station, but in order to qualify for federal grants the organization must provide $250,000 proof of local support, Neyman said. With the fundraised money from the auction, she expects the radio station to be eligible for federal funding for another year. The end of KDLL’s fiscal cycle is June 30.
All the pieces up for bid have been donated for the auction. There are an additional two pieces not on display at Veronica’s but available to view online.
In-depth interviews with the artists will air on KDLL 91.9 FM at 11 a.m. on Mondays and again at 10 a.m. on Sundays through May 8. To bid on the pieces and support local Kenai Peninsula art and radio, visit kdllpublicradio.betterworld.org.
Reach reporter Camille Botello at firstname.lastname@example.org.