Burnaway’s Crush hits Adair Park

Annual Art Auction to kick off long-term, creative vision for new venue

Fate seems to have played a hand in the location of Burnaway’s annual Art Crush Auction this year. When executive director Susannah Darrow talks about the new venue, she is visibly excited.

“We walked in the building and everyone’s jaws kind of dropped open,” Darrow says. “It’s one of those spaces where you’re like, ‘How has this not been used for the last 20 years?’”

The old Abrams Fixture Corporation building, located in Adair Park, has been sitting vacant for almost 10 years, a victim of vandalism and time. Three months ago, owners went in and began phase one of a plan to fill the 27,000-square-foot building with artists and manufacturers, ultimately cultivating a larger community for creatives. One of those owners, Greg Swartzberg, would even like to open a coffee shop on the corner.

“I think it could be a nice community when it’s all done,” Swartzberg says. “The building definitely lends itself to artists’ creative space.”

For the Burnaway team, to inaugurate the space was a no-brainer. Previously held in venues such as 7 Stages Theatre and Paris on Ponce, the annual auction has been limited by space, as well as the regular programming of the hosting venues. In the past, the organization was unable to do installations, start work early, or really take the time to make use of the space. Because Abrams Fixture Corporation’s more or less uninhabited — and, frankly, larger — Burnaway has had much more flexibility.

Sumptuary’s Mike Stasny, who acted as artistic director for the event, helped curate and commissioned six artists to activate the new space in various ways. Molly Rose Freeman’s immersive sculpture will greet visitors in the entry hall, while Megan Mosholder’s light-based string installation, “Terminus,” will be located farther into the building. Goat Farm Artistic Director Mark DiNatale, also contributed to the layout of the event. “I think [the installations] will be able to highlight the architecture of the space and show off some of the really beautiful but totally weird aspects of the building,” Darrow says.

Though ultimately a fundraiser, the event’s mission is to showcase artists who have stood out over the last year. As Darrow explains, not all of those artists’ works are necessarily “auctionable.” The physical space will facilitate the presentation of this type of work. Other nontraditional features will include auctioned experiences with various creative locals. People such as poet and author Daniel Bosch and Deer Bear Wolf’s Davy Minor will offer up unique experiences to the highest bidder. Laura Relyea of Scoutmob and Vouched Books will even do a glitter experience in honor of her recently released chapbook on pop star Ke$ha.

The silent auction, though less loud, will include both emerging and established artists, making the event accessible to a variety of collectors. Items include a painting from a series that appeared in Scott Ingram’s recent show at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia to a small etching by muralist Trek Matthews. “We’ve tried to make sure that anyone attending has the opportunity to potentially participate,” Darrows says.

With sketch comedy duo Bland Hack as auctioneers, a unique collection of installations, and an open bar with signature cocktails from the Sound Table, even attendees without paddles should be able to do just that.