Kimball auction ‘ignites imagination’ |

Kimball auction ‘ignites imagination’

Greg Marshall, Of the Record staff

With a redesigned website, a new café, an art supply store, a refurbished deck and an auction brochure emblazoned with orange, the Kimball Art Center is primed for its annual auction and gala Thursday.

It promises to be an evening of firsts for the Kimball as the nonprofit art center on the corner of Heber Ave. and Main Street prepares to look back at four decades of work in Summit County.

The night, which starts with an auction preview at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m., marks the beginning of festivities for the 40th Park City Kimball Arts Festival. The festival is slated for Main Street Aug. 1 and 2 and attracts large crowds, including nearly a thousand artist applications for only 220 spots.

For the first time, festival artists donated hundreds of pieces for the silent auction, offering a sample of the art that will be hawked at the festival next week. "We want to promote artists who are participating in the festival," Robin Rankin, the Kimball’s executive director, explained. "It adds excitement."

The live auction, which begins at 8:15 p.m., features high-end paintings, sculpture and mixed-media pieces from Park City galleries, patrons and artists.

The live auction boasts a first of its own: Students from the Kimball’s Young Artist Academy will sell their wares, colorfully painted chairs, at auction. Half of the proceeds from student work will go to college scholarships. The free after-school program for Summit County kids has garnered national accolades, including a nod from the cable channel Nickelodeon.

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The money raised from the gala and auction benefits the Kimball’s outreach, education programs and exhibits. The night is one of the biggest of the year for the nonprofit organization, which depends on member support and grants to keep its doors open.

In addition to the art, the Kimball will auction off vacations.

Tickets for the dinner, $150, are nearly sold out. Patrons will mingle and dine with artists. Patrons can also purchase $50 tickets for wine and dessert.

Less expensive tickets are aimed at widening the audience at auction and attracting new members. "We wanted to make it as accessible to people as possible," Rankin said. "We want to try to attract an up-an-coming audience and make an event that can’t be missed."

Patrons who purchase $75 memberships are invited to art classes, talks and exhibits. They also earn a chance to win a Honda Insight from Ken Garff on Arts Festival weekend.

During the kickoff dinner, members of the Kimball family plan to unveil the winner of the Kimball Award given to a Summit County resident who "embodies the values of the art community," Rankin said.

Auction items are posted to the Kimball’s revamped website, . The site boasts interactive blogs where users can post comments, video and photos, all part of an effort to be inclusive and integrated into the community, Rankin said. She envisions a one-stop digital superstore with each department education, exhibits posting multimedia.

The Kimball Café, with the support of Park City Roasters, opens July 31 in the Garage Gallery.