Art umbrellas to be auctioned this weekend

As part of the Reimagine Art Festival in downtown Penticton this weekend, the unique creations by more than 20 artists will be auctioned off in Gyro Park to raise funds for future public art projects in the City of Penticton.

The Umbrella Project, created by the City's Arts and Culture Committee, saw nearly 30 pieces of umbrella art on display at sponsor businesses this summer, ranging from Ogopogo to polar bears to grape varietals.

A number of sponsoring businesses have opted to purchase their display umbrellas, and the rest – 23 in all – will be put up for auction.

"We had some excellent works submitted by the artists," said Arts and Culture Committee Co-Chair Charlie Utz, who came up with the idea to use large canvas patio umbrellas as artistic inspiration.

The umbrellas will be on display in Gyro Park during the Downtown Community Market and Penticton Farmers' Market this Saturday, Sept. 22. A silent auction will take place from 10 a.m. to noon in Gyro Park, with a live auction of five umbrellas at noon, hosted by Erick Thompson of ET2media.

Only five umbrellas will be auctioned live, by artists Endrené Shepherd ("Ogopogo"), Janis Blyth ("Life on the Bench"), Meghan Westfall ("Dia de los Muertos"), Peter Corbett ("Valhallas"), and Reasha Wolfe ("Scenes of Penticton").

Funds raised through the auction, coupled with funds from the sponsoring businesses that hosted the umbrellas, will be held in trust by the City of Penticton for future public art projects.

"Any one of the umbrellas will be sure to attract attention to your patio next season," said Utz.

Learn more about The Umbrella Project online, or read the artists' bios [PDF - 5.8 MB] here.