Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts


An Affair to Remember: Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts' 8th Annual Art Auction Breaks Records & Brings in the Crowds

An Affair to Remember: Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts' 8th Annual Art Auction Breaks Records & Brings in the Crowds

It started back in September, when the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts unveiled a preview exhibition showcasing artwork by over 200 international, national, regional and local artists. The buzz built steadily as the Center prepared for its 8th Annual Art Auction, which featured the organization’s largest, most diverse and most exceptional selection of art work to date. On Saturday, October 28, a record crowd of over 650 art lovers came to the Bemis Center to partake in what turned out to be its biggest, most successful auction to date. The Center used all three of its main galleries for the event, with Gallery 3 serving as the lounge where auction guests viewed live streaming of the reservation-only Live Auction. This Gallery also provided the new “Buy It Now” option for those unwilling to lose out on that special piece, as well as the opportunity to bid on Live Auction artworks from the lounge in real time. Throughout the evening, the Silent Auction Gallery was abuzz as people vied for artwork in every price range, from just a few hundred dollars to several thousand, and the excitement could hardly be contained during the Live Auction, as art lovers competed for some of the contemporary art world’s most outstanding art works. The bidding was friendly but fierce, and the four top sellers included: Jun Kaneko, Untitled Dango, Glazed Ceramics, 43 x 22 x 14 in., $31,000; Tony Berlant, "Early Bird," Collaged Scrap Metal, 60 x 48 in., $22,000; Renee Cox, “Yo Mama," Photograph, 66 x 52 in., $15,000; and Deborah Masuoka, "Rabbit Head," Earthenware, 58 x 37 x 9 in., $10,500. By the end of the evening, the Annual Art Auction had resulted in nearly $450,000, an increase of close to 46% from the previous year, when the event grossed $290,000.

The Annual Art Auction is the Bemis Center’s largest, most important fund raiser of the year, with all proceeds benefiting the Bemis Center’s Sustaining Fund, which directly supports its international Artist-in-Residence program. This year, the event took on added significance as the Bemis Center celebrates its 25th Anniversary. For over a quarter of a century, the organization’s mission has been to support exceptional talent, and the 8th Annual Art Auction highlighted the Center’s on-going commitment to serving as one of the nation’s top-ranked Artist-in-Residence programs.

The Bemis Center extends special thanks to all the artists who so generously donated their work to support its Sustaining Fund.

The Bemis Center also wishes to thank the following Auction Presenting Sponsors for their generous support of our Eighth Annual Art Auction:

Karen and Robert Duncan
First National Bank
Annette and Paul Smith

And special thanks to all our Business Sponsors:

Catering Creations
Clark Creative Group
Embassy Suites
Kaneko Studio
Nebraska Arts Council
Nebraska Wine and Spirits
Omaha Steaks
Shark's Ink, Lyons, CO
Telepro Production Services
The Reader
Upstream Brewing Company
Visions Custom Framing
Warren Distribution

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 S. 12th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
Admission and Parking: FREE
Phone:: 402.341.7130