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Faculty display and auction art

CHRIS CODUTO / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Art history and anthropology junior Tamara Kemp arranges a spoon prior to the opening of the faculty art exhibit. The show opens Friday and runs until Nov. 21.
By Kylee Dawson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 21, 2004
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Creating a perfect work of art is obviously a lot harder than purchasing one. But just in case you want a few pointers on what a decent work of art should contain, why not check out what some of the UA's finest art professors have to offer?

The annual "State of the Art: UA School of Art Faculty Exhibition" will be open to the public tomorrow at the University of Arizona Museum of Art.

Visitors can meet and mingle with the artists and check out their artwork, which will be auctioned off at the first "Party for Art" auction in December.

The distinguished art pieces were created with various media, including clay and wood sculptures, photographs, watercolor paintings, oil paintings, three-part paintings and more.

"People who are interested in seeing the faculty show or who are interested in bidding on the art that will be for sale at the Party for Art can see the art during that time," said Jodi Horton, who has been a member of the steering committee for the Party for Art for 12 years.

"This Party for Art is a one-time event," she said.

Horton said all of the art board members contributed money to the Art Faculty Professional Development Endowment, a newly established organization that generates funds for the UA School of Art.

To raise more money, art faculty members are also contributing artwork to be sold, and art historians are contributing various books, some scholarly and some beautiful coffee table books.

In addition, manuscripts and other art-related items contributed by art faculty members will be sold at a silent auction.

One faculty member who owns a home outside Paris will auction a stay at his house and arrange special tours around the area.

"There's a wide variety of artwork, all media, all sizes, and therefore a wide price range," Horton said. "Many of the faculty members are well-known in the art world, and so therefore some of those pieces are obviously going to go for more than those who are not well-known."

One very well-known faculty member is Moira Geoffrion, who has been teaching art at the UA and exhibiting work in the Faculty Art Show since 1986.

This year, she will have two works displayed.

The first piece, "Desert Quilt," is made of six painted rectangular sections, each 7 inches by 10 inches. Three contain 3-D relief, which create a quilt or grid-like effect.

"Desert plant fragments combined with figure fragments and fruit forms are the imagery within these paintings and sculptural reliefs," Geoffrion said.

The second piece, "Desert Quilt II," is composed of 42 sections.

Geoffrion does not remember how many pieces she's sold at the Faculty Art Shows over the years, but her record as an artist speaks for itself.

"I have shown my work nationally and internationally for over 30 years and have sold out numerous exhibitions and am in many museum collections," Geoffrion said.

Museums, art centers, corporate collectors and private collectors in the United States, Hungary, Russia, Australia, Africa, Switzerland, Germany and Bulgaria have purchased her sculptures, paintings, mono-prints, digital prints and drawings.

With cutbacks in UA funding, Horton said it has become very difficult to make funds available to art faculty members to publish or take advantage of special travel opportunities.

"So the art board, which is a group of community advisory folks, came up with idea to establish an endowment to generate cash for special opportunities," Horton said.

The annual "State of the Art: UA School of Art Faculty Exhibition" and sneak preview of the "Party for Art" auction will be held at the University of Arizona Museum of Art on tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The exhibition runs through Nov. 21, and the Party for Art auction will be held on Dec. 18.

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