Art Papers on the move

Executive Director Saskia Benjamin on the annual auction's switch to the Westside

Currently the largest of its kind in Atlanta, the 16th Annual Art Papers Art Auction promises variety in more ways than one. Among the 241 participating contemporary artists, there are emerging and recognized talents, with both local and international origins, and work in a large array of media. The diversity of the auction provides a slew of fresh, new artworks for practiced collectors, but also a range of prices for those new to the process.

"We're working with young artists, we're working with established artists, again, across media, local to international, and so really it's kind of a microcosm of what's going on," says Saskia Benjamin, executive director of Art Papers.

For a nonprofit organization working to provide outlets for the discussion, documentation, and examination of contemporary art through a variety of programs (Art Papers magazine, the Art Papers Live lecture series, and a newly launched exhibitions program), the auction is a big deal — with big stakes. Although the auction is another forum for education and dialogue, it is also a fundraiser for the other Art Papers programing. And for the first time in a decade, the show is moving: from Mason Murer Fine Art to Westside's Bobo Intriguing Objects.

"At Mason Murer it was very, you know, a traditional white gallery box," Benjamin says. "[Bobo] has a very different feel: dark walls, beautiful hardwood floors, we'll have some chandeliers, it'll be just a bit more romantic, [and] a bit more cozy, than it's been in past years. We're excited to have the opportunity to try something a little different."

Several artists have long-standing relationships with Art Papers and return to the auction annually, but the organization also chooses to explore other avenues for obtaining work. The nonprofit partners with several organizations, including WonderRoot, MINT, and Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA), that offer prizes, awards, and residencies to artists during the year to find new talent to include in the auction. These groups provide input on who they feel are the "movers and shakers" of the contemporary art community. Recent MOCA GA Working Artist Project winner Sarah Emerson is one of the artists participating as a result.

The auction is split into two separate evenings, which provide inherently different experiences. Up first is the Collector's Preview, which offers a more intimate opportunity for viewers to experience the art and even purchase in advance.

At the Silent Auction and Party on the following evening, interaction with the art will be paired with a performance by DJ Tim DeGroot.

"[The auction] is a great way for people to get introduced to new artists or see some of their favorites, and that's really what we're trying to do; to put together a great event," Benjamin says. "It's almost really an exhibition more than anything — but if you want, you can leave with the work."

More By This Writer


Monday May 4, 2015 10:23 am EDT

  • Courtesy of the Hambidge Center

The Goat Farm Arts Center and the Hambidge Center are raising the bar for this year’s 20th Annual Hambidge Art Auction and Performance Gala. In addition to a silent auction with work from over 175 established and emerging artists (selected by manager of Kibbee Gallery, Ben Goldman, and director of curatorial affairs at the Zucherman Museum,...

| more...


Friday May 1, 2015 01:43 pm EDT

  • Courtesy of the Center for Puppetry Arts

Starting in the fall of 2015, visitors will be able to experience this rich history of puppetry in the Center for Puppetry Arts’ newly expanded museum and permanent museum exhibition, Worlds of Puppetry.

The Global Collection gallery, which will showcase the exhibition, will be comprised of over 170 puppets and artifacts from...

| more...


Thursday April 30, 2015 02:33 pm EDT

Home to history, love stories, scavenger hunts, and botanical beauty, the Oakland Cemetery is one of Atlanta’s great places. On Sat., May 2, the Historic Oakland Foundation and local creatives will harness the historic site’s past and interpret it through art. The initiative, the Arts at Oakland, will work together with ROAMtransmissions to produce The Cryptophonic Tour: an interactive...

| more...


Tuesday April 28, 2015 02:09 pm EDT
The prog-psychedelic headliner will no doubt introduce its reverb-drenched guitar and arpeggiated synth leads to the crowd like an old friend. | more...


Tuesday April 28, 2015 10:26 am EDT
image-1 Dance Truck has been a local favorite since it cropped up back in 2009. A simple, innovative public art program, the project literally delivers contemporary dance performances to galleries, festivals, and spots around town in the back of trucks and trailers — if people can’t go to the art, the art will come to them. Critically praised and publicly followed, the result was a resounding... | more...
Search for more by Kate Douds