by Joey Phoenix
Photos by Social Palates
On March 28, the vastly celebrated annual event Artrageous! successfully returned to the North Shore and continued this now record-breaking artistic tradition. Hosted by Montserrat College of Art, the prestigious art gathering enjoyed a sold out house and brought in nearly a thousand participants and local art-lovers to enjoy some of the region’s best creative work and support the future of the college.
More than 250 pieces of art lined the maze of walls, and the wide range of style and medium was a thing to behold. Ranging from paintings, prints and photographs to mixed media and sculpture, the pieces were donated not only by Montserrat faculty, but also alumni and well-known and rising artists from the North Shore area and around the country. These outstanding visual art pieces were auctioned off to support future and existing students attending Montserrat. To put matters into perspective, every $10,000 raised during the event enables another student to have a world-class education from a college who genuinely cares about the development and continued success of its students. Last year’s event, which was also a sold out show, raised more than $400,000.
Now in it’s 29th year, Artrageous has come to be known as the “must-attend” spring event in the region. Since its founding in 1970, Montserrat has dedicated itself to not only molding future artists, but also working diligently ensure that the artists who pass through their halls will become ultimately successful in their careers as creative professionals, and Artrageous is the perfect extension of that vision. The small college of art and design strives to provide both the education which will equip artists for success in their chosen field and the opportunities to gain recognition for their achievements.
Yet, Artrageous is much more than your standard fundraising event, it’s also an interactive celebration of art, and an opportunity for rising artists. Some of the main features of the night included an ongoing silent auction, interactive art displays, live painting and performance, live music by Salem band Machine 475, and food by Capers Catering. The Honorary Chair of the event was Beverly native Jack Barnes, President and CEO of People’s United Bank, the lead sponsor of the event. Additional sponsors included Windover Construction, Inc., Brookwood Financial Partners, LLC, John Drislane and Chuck Thibeault, Footprint Power, Hal and Jodi Hess, and Pinck & Co.
“Events like this are great for the art community because they give artists a chance to show their work to hundreds of people at one time. It was an amazing feeling for me to watch people discuss my piece, get close to it and really examine it, and eventually put a bid on it. Seeing my name in the Artrageous program along with my website was great too because I couldn't help but think how many people saw that.” Explains Alison White, a three-time participating artist, Montserrat alumna, and locally recognized photographer and fiber artist.
“The hundreds of attendees get to immerse themselves in a creative environment in a way that they most likely would miss otherwise. It reminds us all of how stimulating and diverse the art world can be, particularly when it is birthing new work before your very eyes.” Says Ken Harris, the Creative Director and Senior Designer for Great Island Design and participating artist in the show.
“The event was so humbling and rewarding.” Montserrat Senior and participating artist Deanna Jacome confided. “The support of our little community will always have a special place in my heart. As a senior, it is nice to see all of the support towards alumni which I can't wait to be apart of.”
Although the merits of the interactive event and silent auction know few bounds, the most celebrated aspect of the night is the much-anticipated Live Auction, which included 24 juried artists and the traditional “Direct Bid” segment. The featured artist for this year’s live portion was North Shore native and internationally renowned Bill Thompson, whose work has been showcased in Budapest, Sydney, Zürich, Barcelona, Munich, Madrid, Seoul, and Brussels among others.
“In my opinion Montserrat College of Art's Artrageous Auction is the best art event on The North Shore. Every year it becomes more interactive and exciting.” says Live Auction Participant, Montserrat alumna, and regionally celebrated artist Kathleen-Gerdon Archer. “I am always impressed by how well the faculty of Montserrat develops the incredible talent of their undergraduates so that students pieces are often chosen by the jurors for inclusion in the live auction. I get goosebumps watching their faces as the bidding increases and the huge crowd roars in support. Montserrat enjoys enormous community support but it is never more apparent than on the night of the Artrageous Auction.”
Artrageous is an event that stands alone regionally as the apex of art celebration. Its unique presentation coupled with Montserrat’s powerful vision are the combination which proves its continued success year after year.
Montserrat’s powerful vision for student success and artistic celebration is clearly prominent in the continuing series of yearly Artrageous events. The only thing more successful than the fundraiser itself is the awareness it is bringing to the North Shore area by highlighting brilliant pieces by local creative minds. Because of this, even one attendant with an open mind is an overwhelming Artrageous success.
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