An Auction Filled with Art, Purpose

As guests made their way into the Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery on Saturday they were greeted with music from “One Friday,” a live band that played hits from the late Michael Jackson, Jill Scott and Kool & the Gang.

The featured artwork came from different parts of the world; some are featured in international art exhibits.

Students, professors and local artists’ work were featured at the exhibit.

“The main purpose of the event was to raise money for scholarships for students in the visual arts programs,” said Harris R. Wiltsher II, the auction’s facilitator and associate professor in the visual arts department.

Wiltsher added: “Also, it is to encourage not only the FAMU community, but the Tallahassee community to visit the Foster-Tanner Art Gallery. We have very talented students and a very energetic faculty.”

The purpose of the event was to raise artists’ support of the art gallery. The artists volunteered their work by either donating 100 percent of their proceeds from the  bids to the gallery or choosing a specific amount to donate.

Yvonne McIntosh, a professor of French at FAMU, was one of the lucky bidders to win an art piece.

“I got the piece I wanted,” McIntosh said. “The pieced is titled ‘In a Mellow Tone.’ This piece reminds me of my childhood at my grandmother’s place. I also have a love for music, and most of all, I also wanted one of Joe Roach’s pieces.”

Joe Roache, an artist and FAMU alumnus, said, “I’ve been working on a series related to jazz music. The painting titled ‘In a Mellow Tone’ displays early jazz and blues musicians in the south.”

Roache also said, “It feels good you have people that appreciate your work enough to pay.”

Wiltsher said the goal of the auction was to get enough people to bid and bring people into the gallery who wouldn’t normally visit.

Pre-bid prices ranged from $5 to $1200, based on the piece.

Aaron Joseph & Company Global Auction services was one of the event’s sponsors.