The Laguna College of Art & Design netted $105,000 at the annual Collector's Choice fundraiser, held Saturday at the campus on Laguna Canyon Road.
A crowd of about 400 college supporters attended the event, which included an art raffle, silent and live auctions of works donated by professional artists, and an al fresco dinner. Students at the college directly benefit from the funds raised at Collector's Choice, which provides financial assistance via scholarships, and pays to upgrade the campus facilities where they strive to fulfill their dreams of a career in the arts.
"We could not be more grateful to the artists and others who by donating to Collector's Choice help make it possible for the next generations of artists and designers to study here," college President Dennis Power said.
Tom Swimm has been among the donors to the fundraiser for so long he doesn't remember when he started.
"It's got to be more than 10 years, more than 15," Swimm said.
The 21st Collector's Choice featured donations by 142 donors.
High bid for the night was $5,000 by Mark Porterfield for Andrew Myers' piece, "Commissioned Screw Portrait." The piece has the head and shoulders composed of screws at different levels to create the features of a balding man against a background of aged telephone directory pages.
Myers, an LCAD graduate, was the winner of a recent Art in Public Places contest, which had $20,000 in prize money. However, he relinquished the prize and withdrew his submission after the City Council approved the sculpture but wanted it relocated, reoriented and restricted to a bronze finish.
Porterfield and Steve Chadima were the Platinum Sponsors of the LCAD event.
Among the donors of art: glass blower John Barber photographic archeologist and gallery owner Mark Chamberlain, Coastline Pilot columnist Cherril Doty, Starr Ramsey Helms, Hedy Buzan Williamson, Arts Commissioner Suzi Chauvel, Mark Jacobucci, Julita Jones, LCAD faculty member Jonathan Burke, Mike Kelly, Carolyn Machado and Jennifer Griffiths, whose daytime job is managing the Laguna Beach Farmers Market.
Anne England, who also donated a piece to the event, was named Trustee Emeritus.
The city was well-represented by donors, volunteers and sponsors.
Newly appointed Arts Commissioner Gerard Basil Stripling and former Arts Commissioners Olivia Batcheler and Mike Tauber, all working artists, donated pieces.
Former Commissioners Terry Smith and Nancy Beverage hosted tables
Arts Commissioner Mary Ferguson co-chaired the event with Kristi DeCinces.
"We are always honored to be the recipients of the extraordinary collection of artworks donated by well-known artists who generously support our students and programs," Ferguson said. "Each year, guests attending Collector's Choice take home incredible treasures and have a lot of fun in the process."
Guest perused silent action items displayed in two studios, live-auction art displayed on either side of the stage where auctioneer Jim Nye conducted the auctions. He was assisted by Chamber of Commerce Past President Jeff Redeker.
Sundried Tomato catered the dinner. College supporters paid $150 each to attend the event, which included one chance to choose a piece in the raffle. Additional raffle tickets could be purchased for $125 each or $500 for five. Winners had one minute to announce which raffle item they wanted.
The live auctions were held intermittently during the raffle drawings.
Power gave kudos to the donors and the bidders, and what they make possible..
"With your support, the college has been doing great things and has a bright future," Power told the supporters. We will open our first student housing this fall. The animation, game art and graphic design majors will occupy new high-tech quarters.
"The graduating seniors who presented their final projects last month are the best I've seen, and most of them already have internships or jobs."
Power said the he expects the incoming class to exceed both the quality and the number of students in the graduating class.
"Great Art Matters" was the theme of the event.
"In your mind, travel to the greatest art museum you have ever visited," said Patsee Ober, college vice president of development. "Think of your favorite animated character or an ad design that catches your eye. Visualize all that great art and how it piqued your senses.
"Now picture all those wondrous museum walls blank, the pedestals with no sculptures, a worldwide wasteland with no Daffy Ducks and ad designs that are boring grey and unimaginative. What does all this mean?
"It means great art matters."
Ober invited supporters to visit the campus to see the art created by the school's students, alumni and faculty.
"Through your continued support, we will keep graduating great artists that will provide the museums, galleries and homes around the world with great art," Ober said.