The thriving arts market in Southern Maine benefits not only the artists and serious collectors most directly involved, but the whole community. A case in point is what has become for us a late summer ritual, the Ogunquit Art Association's annual Art Auction.
Held at the (now thankfully air conditioned) Barn Gallery, last night's event (the 55th Annual Art Auction) drew an SRO crowd. The festivities were well supported by local restaurants and merchants (Amore Breakfast, The Blue Elephant, Bintliff's, Bread and Roses, The Front Porch, Harbor Candy Shop, Joe Allen, Jonathans, Litchfield's, Morning Dove, No. Five-O Shore Road, OOO-FA!, Poor Richard's Tavern, Roberto's, Village Food Market) just to name a few.
Thanks to Hap Moore, aided by long-time Assistant Auctioneer (and artist) Deidre O'Flaherty, the action was thick and fast, with more than a few minutes of genuine drama (example - the bidding war for Patience Haley's magnificent watercolor - Two Meadow Flower Vases - which went for $1475). And yet, there were bargains to be had . . . over 48 pieces went under the gavel for $200 or less!
Although the event is over (until next year) we strongly recommend that if you're in Southern Maine, take the exit for Ogunquit, stop by the Barn Gallery and have a feast for the eyes. And when you're done, stop by some of the sponsoring restaurants and stores mentioned above. You'll be glad you did.