Bemis Center For Contemporary Arts

Benefit Art Auction 2020 FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Benefit Art Auction?
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts’s Benefit Art Auction unites national artists with arts supporters for Omaha’s premier celebration of contemporary art. This year, approximately 200 works will be selected by a distinguished panel arts professionals for an online auction, allowing patrons to place bids and purchase work from anywhere in the world! 

What does the fundraiser benefit?
All proceeds support participating artists and Bemis Center operations and programs. Artists receive up to 50% commission on the sale of their work, plus new this year, each artist will receive a $300 participation honorarium. 

What are the dates of the Benefit Art Auction?
June 10–First day to submit artwork
July 6–Final day to submit artwork
August 14–Artwork must be received by Bemis Center 
October 1–Artwork viewable online 
October 1–Exhibition viewing, in-person, by appointment
October Date TBD–Online bidding begins
October 30–Online Benefit event and final opportunity to bid on artwork 

What benefits come with contributing to the Benefit Art Auction?
If your artwork is selected for this year’s Benefit, as a thank you for your generosity, your donation entitles you to:

  • One $300 participation honorarium.
  • The choice to donate between 100% and 50% of the proceeds of the sale of your work to Bemis Center. The remaining sales percentage is yours to keep!
  • A one-year Bemis Center Membership.
  • Bemis Alumni Status (for more information visit bemiscenter.org/alumni).
  • Free shipping for your donated artwork (FedEx Express and Overnight Package Services excluded).
  • Free framing for Benefit Art Auction Exhibition (if applicable to submission).
  • SO MANY HUGS...AS SOON AS WE SAFELY CAN! (Back to top).

Will there be an Auction exhibition this year?
Due to COVID-19, this year’s Auction will take place online only, giving access to patrons around the world. Public viewing of the Benefit Art Auction Exhibition will be permissible, by appointment, beginning October 1. 

When will Auction bidding take place?
In October 2020. Exact dates TBD. 

Does Bemis Center need my W9 tax form on file?
This is not required upon artwork submission. If you have selected to receive an honorarium and/or commission, Bemis Center will request a tax form. Please contact Casey Callahan at benefitartauction@bemiscenter.org if you have any questions. 

Will my biography be displayed with my work?
Yes. The information you provide during your submission will be used to create a brief biography. 

Why do I need to enter a retail price?
Bemis Center will use your suggested retail price to determine the minimum bid price which is calculated at 70% of your suggested retail price. This information is also used to determine the Buy-It-Now price, which is 150% of the retail price. If we frame your work, the cost of framing will be added to the retail price.

What is the minimum price for which my work may be sold?
By selecting your donation percentage on our submission form, you agree to the following: Artist/Bemis Center commission split is based on final sale price. Artwork is not sold below 70% of retail.

How do I know what donation percentage to select?
You determine the donation percentage you would like to offer from the options listed. The percentages range from a 100% donation to Bemis to a 50%/50% split of the sale price.

How many works may I submit for review?
You may submit up to two works for consideration by our jury, but only one work per artist will be accepted. The jurors will select works ideally suited to the Benefit Art Auction and Exhibition. If your work is sold prior to the last day of bidding at the But-It-Now price, Bemis may request a replacement piece.

What if the work I would like to submit is not complete yet?
Unfortunately, we are not able to accept incomplete works.

What if the artwork I would like to submit is unframed?
Artwork that is ready to hang is greatly appreciated, however we will accept unframed work. We'll frame the work prior to installation, and the cost of framing will be added to the retail price. 

How do I know my artwork has been successfully submitted?
When you have completed the required fields on the form, you will receive an automated confirmation message.

How will I know when my artwork is accepted or declined for the Benefit Art Auction?
Upon approval, you will receive an email notification with the subject line “Accepted Artwork” indicating which work has been selected by our jurors. You will receive an email notification with the subject line "Declined Artwork" indicating which work(s) have not been selected. All notifications will be sent mid - July. (Back to top)

Who can be contacted for additional questions about the Benefit Art Auction and submitting artwork for review?
If you have technical or administrative questions, contact Casey Callahan at 402.341.7130 x 19, Monday–Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. or email benefitartauction@bemiscenter.org. If you have other questions about this year's event, contact Ellie Novak at ellie@bemiscenter.org or 402.341.7130  x 16.

What are the optimum image settings?
Prior to beginning the submission process, make sure your images meet the following requirements:

  • Recommended image size: 1088 x 816 pixels 
  • Maximum file size: 1 MB
  • File Name: Last Name_Artwork Title_Year.JPEG
  • File Type: MUST be .jpg

Can you recommend free image editing software?
We recommend jpeg-optimizer — it’s free and easy to use. 

Here are some instructions:

  • Go to jpeg-optimizer.com
  • Click “Choose File”
  • Select your image and click "Open"
  • Ensure that "Compress Image" & "Resize Image" are both checked.
  • Enter the number 80 for "Compress Image" and the number 1088 for "Resize Image".
  • Click Optimize Photo. Note: it may take longer depending on your image size.
  • After the image has completed, right click on your new image and select, "Save As."
  • Select where on your computer you'd like to store the file. .
  • Ensure format is JPEG.
  • Click "SAVE”
  • You can now upload your newly resized photo to Bemis Center via online submission.

Why am I required to resize my images before uploading?
File size requirements are a standard part of online auction software. Potential buyers will be able to zoom into your image for detailed viewing. (Back to top)

Is Bemis Center accepting work that is shipped internationally?
No.

When do I ship my artwork and how?
Upon approval of your work, you will receive an email notification indicating which work has been approved and a link to shipping instructions. Bemis Center will cover all shipping costs (FedEx 2 Day, FedEx Express, and Overnight Package Service excluded), excluding crates, boxes, or other shipping supplies or services. If you have questions about shipping outside the provided guidelines, contact Casey Callahan at 402.341.7130 x 19 or benefitartauction@bemiscenter.org. 

What happens to unsold artwork after the Benefit Art Auction?
If your selected artwork is unsold, we will contact you regarding pickup or return shipping. Artwork must be picked up or returned by Friday, December 18, 2020. 

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 South 12th Street
Omaha, NE 68102
Admission and Parking: FREE
Phone:: 402.341.7130
E-mail: info@bemiscenter.org