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Liguanea Lodge Art Auction a success — organisers

BY SHARLENE HENDRICKS
Staff reporter
hendrickss@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, May 19, 2019

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It was fair warning for bidders on several original works of art by some of Jamaica's foremost visual artists at the 27th annual Liguanea Lodge Art Auction and Wine & Cheese Party, held last Thursday evening at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St Andrew.

Collectors and arts dealers alike were feted to a pre-auction cocktail while they feasted their eyes on the 79 outstanding pieces of art that were on the auction block.

Among the over 40 artists featured in this year's collection were Albert Huie, Barrington Watson, Richard Hall, Christopher Gonzales, and Orville Miller — all perennial favourites at the now prestigious affair.

Over the years, the charity event has also become a staple for art lovers with a heart for giving back. This year, part proceeds from the event will be going towards a scholarship for a student at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. “This year they are providing a scholarship to a student at the School of Visual Arts. The scholarship will be for three years and persons eligible to apply are those going into their second year of study and once they maintain a B average up to their final year, the scholarship will be renewed,” explained college registrar, Claudia Woon-Chin, who was at the event for a ceremonial handing over of the donation.

The evening's bidding battle started at a slow pace with Orville Miller's acrylic on hardboard, Nude II, going first at $18,000. This was followed by a chase among bidders for the ceramic piece Market Scene Friends, by Robert Campbell that was going for $32,000, but eventually sold to the highest bidder for $60,000.

There was widespread appreciation for works by the late Birth Livingstone (also called Birch Lincoln) popularly known as Rass Dizzy, whose oil on hardboard Kingston City At 3:00 pm 1958, mixed media on hardboard Palm Tree, and watercolour on paper Coco Looks Like Family were among the most sought after for the evening.

Kenneth Abendana Spencer acrylic on canvas, Drumming, topped the bidding chart for the evening at $220,000. Second, was Barrington Watson's untitled watercolour on paper that went for $170,000, followed by Patrick Mazola's acrylic on canvas Ballet that went for $140,000.

Other popular works included a welded metal sculpture titled Wise Owl by Mazola, and Natalie Sutherland's acrylic on canvas, Our Old House.

Spencer's watercolour on paper Man Drinking and Man Waving also saw a showdown among bidders with the two pieces finally going to the highest bidder at $68,000. His oil on canvas Boy With Fish was also sold, making the painter the most sought after artist for the evening.

Norris Nelson's Remembering The Railway, which was a beautiful take on the historic train station in Cambridge, St James, was another highly coveted piece, while Winston Clarke's oil on canvas View of Buff Bay and Norman 'Richie' Smith's watercolour on paper Mocho Road, Clarendon were also crowd favourites.

Bidders opted to pass on Albert Huie's oil on canvas Lake View With Boats and Old Constant Spring Road, both going at two of the highest price points for the evening — $785,000 and $720,000; respectively.

Meanwhile, Edna Manley's unsigned and untitled charcoal on paper rendition of a horse attracted much attention, with a three-minute bidding chase ending with the piece going for $125,000 to the highest bidder.

Overall, event organisers considered this year's auction a success. Auctioneer and mastermind behind the event, Douglas McDonald, told the Jamaica Observer that he expects art lovers to grab the leftover high-end pieces by weekend.

“I think it was successful. A number of pieces were sold, but the high end pieces did not sell the way that we were hoping they would sell. But post-auction, a lot of persons are now expressing interest in them, so I am pretty sure that at the end of the night or even by the weekend, those pieces will be sold, because people have a habit of not wanting to buy in public, so they will come to us after the show,” McDonald said.


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