September 6, 2008

Sphere Madness auction ends with surprise 'winner'

Bidders compete for their favorite spheres

After a summer dispersed throughout downtown Racine, the 74 art spheres that made up Sphere Madness were together Saturday afternoon for the last time -- all assembled in Memorial Hall for their final event: their auction.

Barely two weeks ago, a team of two judges pronounced their assessment of the spheres, awarding $6,000 to three prize winners and also naming five honorable mentions. Saturday, the public spoke -- with its wallet, and named its favorite spheres.

They weren't the same. The auction-buying public paid top dollar for a sphere not mentioned at all by the judges. Selling for the highest bid drawn out by Auctioneer Bob Hagemann was a sphere totally overlooked by the judges. Princess, designed by Lynn Spleas and Jeff Dolezal and sponsored by S.T.A.R.H.S., was a fanciful recreation of Cinderella's carriage. It was bought by Ronald E. Jones, vice president of manufacturing, at Styberg Engineering.

Although Lynn Spleas didn't win the judges' praise, she was pleased by "winning" the auction ... and happy with the $2,150 her artwork earned for the Downtown Racine Corporation, which puts on the annual street art promotion. "The money all goes to Racine, so it's a good thing," she said.

The second-highest auction price went for A Starry Night, a re-creation in more than 8,000 mosaic pieces of Vincent van Gogh's painting, done by Sherri Shaver, and sponsored by Monfort's Fine Art Gallery. It went for $2,050. It had received honorable mention by the judges.

Botanical Bubble, by Kathleen Lippold, sponsored by Photographic Design and Donald and Gabriella Klein, sold for $1,500.

The auction was in two parts: 25 of the spheres were sold through a voice auction, and the rest through bids accepted in a silent auction. The voice auction raised more than $15,000 for DRC, but 15 of the silent auction spheres did not attract the $350 minimum bids required. A list of the unsold spheres will be available Tuesday, and they will be on display at 413 Main St., available for sale through Friday for $350 each. Any spheres remaining after Friday will be part of a raffle whose winners will be picked at Party on the Pavement on Saturday, Oct. 4.

Update: And here's the list of the unsold -- and still available -- spheres. First $350 takes whichever you like:
Magic Bead Ball, Shine, Growing Green, Fireworks Fanfare, Cherry Flavor Paver, Death Star, Knots Landing, Big Fish Bowl, Sorcerer's Spell, The Rose Ball, Color Burst, HEADerLINES, Pond, Sweet Treats, Around the Yard, M C Escphere, Escargooo, Mod Pod and Ball of Yarn.
Stop in the DRC office at 425 Main Street or call 262-634-6002. The spheres are pictured online.

1 comment:

  1. things aren't as they seem9/08/2008 12:19 PM

    Pete, I can see you've taken the high road. I see Devin's picture on the top of the Post. My understanding is he doesn't reciprocate kind gestures to you. Downtown Racine is most lucky to be beneficiary to all the good news you share about it. Keep up the good work and congratulations for escaping the clutches of the DRC.