December 14, 2007

Art Over Easy 3 raises record amount

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Art Over Easy 3, the major fundraiser for Southern Illinois University Carbondale's School of Art and Design, raised approximately $35,000 at the live and silent auctions held Nov. 30 at the school's Surplus Gallery.

The fundraiser, as its name implies, is in its third year and is quickly becoming an annual tradition. This year, more than 350 guests crowded the gallery to enjoy an evening of music, refreshments and good company while they circulated through the silent auction and joined the excitement of the live auction.

While several pieces in the live auction created a buzz and enthusiastic bidding, two Salvador Dali artist proofs were among the top items, with one bringing in more than $1,000. The live auction included art of all varieties, with original pieces contributed by School of Art and Design faculty and students as well as by artists in the greater Carbondale community. This year, emeritus faculty members Michael Onken, former head of graduate studies for the school, and Robert Paulson, former director of the school, contributed several pieces.

"I was blown away by the excellent turnout we had," Rona Kay Cradit, co-chairperson of the event, said. "We had a fantastic crowd and folks were enjoying the art, the chance to raise a glass of wine with friends, and some good-natured, competitive bidding."

Cradit noted this year's auctions showed a "substantial increase" in funds raised, adding that this year's success "certainly sets next year's bar high."

Proceeds from the event benefit the School of Art and Design. Currently, the school is spread out over several areas of the SIUC campus. School administrators and faculty hope to build one structure to consolidate the school under one roof. Art Over Easy 3 is one step toward that wish.

For more information about the program, visit the Web site at Student exhibits are on display at the Surplus Gallery in the Glove Factory at 432 S. Washington Ave. in Carbondale. Other exhibits of student art are at the Vergette Gallery in the Allyn Building and periodically at the University Museum in Faner Hall on the SIUC campus.