Guests milled around high tables draped with white tablecloths, with rows of grape vines, the mountains and Okanagan Lake hanging like a painting in the background.
The Vernon Public Art Gallery’s 29th annual Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts Wednesday night at Turtle Mountain Winery raised $48,000 making the event a grand success.
“We are just thrilled to see the outpouring of community support, truly a sign of how much the community values the work we do,” said Dauna Kennedy Grant, executive director of the Vernon Public Art Gallery.
With beverages in hand from Gray Monk Winery and Okanagan Spring Brewery, attendees browsed through tables of silent auction items and art and previewed the live auction pieces donated by local artists, as volunteers came by with trays of artfully made appetizers.
Liz MacArthur and her friend Cheryl Schmidt enjoy the change of location from where it was traditionally held at the Caetani Cultural Centre.
“When you are at a live art auction it is wonderful to be surrounded by such beauty,” said MacArthur.
One of the draws of the event is the lively auction that brothers Peter and Don Raffan have been tag teaming since the fundraiser’s infancy.
The auctioneers are the owners of Valley Auction and are more accustomed to moving cattle than works of art.
“We enjoy it every year, it is a nice change,” said Don Raffan.
“Cows, horses or art, it’s all about the people.”
Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts is the Vernon Public Art Gallery’s major fundraiser of the year, with the money going towards programming and exhibitions at the gallery.
The top seller of the night was Briar Craig’s Protect Your Smile, which sold for $3,600.
Other big ticket items were a piece by Rick Bond for $3,000 and Kara Barkved for $2,000.