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Auction To Save Castlefield Gallery

Artists donate work to keep the gallery going

Published on May 23rd 2012.

Auction To Save Castlefield Gallery

SIXTY works of art, which have been donated by artists, designers, an architect, and a comedian, are being auctioned off to raise funds to keep Castlefield Gallery going – and organisers are asking Manchester’s art adoring public to show their support.

Online bidding is already underway here, and electronic bids will go head to head with those made during the live auction at the gallery on 30 May.

“The artists have been extremely generous – we hope art lovers and collectors will be equally generous.”

The organisers have managed to persuade highly respected artist and teacher Professor Pavel Büchler, of Manchester Metropolitan University, to be auctioneer for the evening, assisted by Stephen Snoddy, Director, The New Art Gallery, Walsall.

Also lending a hand and showing his support will be author, DJ, and journalist, Dave Haslam.

The works on offer are many and varied, but each has been donated totally free of charge by their creator – many of whom have been nurtured, encouraged, and marketed by the Castlefield Gallery since its inception two decades ago.

Amongst the 60 lots is a piece by Liam Spencer showing Atlas Bar and the corner of the city which is now the gallery home. Salford-born Sarah Hardacre has contributed a silk screen print.

There’s an exquisite pencil and watercolour by Rachel Goodyear from Oldham, and Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey from the Wirral has donated a unique piece – the original dubplate used for his final performance during an exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery earlier this year.

Comedian Harry Hill has also donated, along with architect Roger Stephenson, who has donated a model of one of his private house commissions.

Gallery bosses are hoping the auction will raise at least £10,000 to help cover a funding gap after the gallery lost its regular Arts Council grant last year.

Castlefield Gallery 2Castlefield Gallery

Gallery director Kwong Lee said: “We have been delighted by the response from artists who have donated some truly wonderful works, some of which have been produced specifically for the auction. Now we want art lovers and collectors to do their bit and help us raise funds, which will allow the gallery to continue to provide exhibiting and professional development for artists.

“Castlefield Gallery is a part of the city's art heritage. We are fortunate that our overheads are very small because we own the building but we still need funding for projects and supporting new artists.

“The importance of the gallery is not just what we do here but how we can help in a bigger, more general way. We want to create new art spaces, to work with businesses and authorities to open up empty office or industrial space and promote and encourage new talent.

“We hope people will look on-line and also come along on the night and support us and get something back at the same time.

“The artists have been extremely generous – we hope art lovers and collectors will be equally generous.”

This auction is not about bagging a bargain (Spencer’s work is currently at £1,000 when it should be going for five times that) but about buying a piece and knowing all the money will be used to help create more art projects or exhibitions and promote art in the city.

If you want to play an even greater role with the gallery, they are also looking for a new chair to help steer it through its next chapter.

Kwong said: “We now have a new business plan and strategy for the future and it is very exciting and we want a new figurehead to help promote and drive that.

“We envisage someone who would use their existing role to promote and endorse our work as well as look for fresh opportunities and links to keep us moving forward.

“This would not be about the day to day running of the gallery and lots of committee meetings but a wider more strategic role.”

You can see the full list of artists who have donated on the Castlefield Gallery website, and register your bid, here.

The Live auction, fittingly called, Put Your Money Where Your Eyes Are, is on Wednesday 30 May at 6pm. Admission is £10.

If you want to see the artwork in the flesh, all the pieces are currently on show at the gallery. Open: Tues-Fri, 1-6pm, plus Sun 20 May, 1-6pm.


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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Jennifer DeanMay 23rd 2012.

No need for an appointment, the gallery is open to the public Tues-Fri, 1-6pm. But if you would like to view the works outside of these times just phone or email the gallery http://www.castlefieldgallery.co.uk/

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