The Friends of the Braithwaite Arts Gallery are the tried and true sort of friends, always willing to lend a hand in the name of art, specifically artistic endeavors at Southern Utah University.
Composed of local art enthusiasts and philanthropists, the Friends of the Braithwaite have greatly enhanced the visual arts in southern Utah through their sponsorship of world-class exhibits and outstanding arts education programs for the past 25 years both at SUU and within the Iron County School District.
They’re at it yet again, and on Thursday, February 28, will host the 21st Annual Friends of the Braithwaite Gallery Art Auction. The auction and dinner at Rusty’s Ranch House will commemorate the 80th birthday of the late Jim Jones, master of southern Utah landscape painting. A true friend himself, Jones was an ardent supporter of the Braithwaite Gallery and SUU Arts programming, and before his passing, donated his home, his estate as well as his final collection of paintings to the University.
The silent and live auctions will include wide spectrum of art created by local artists, including paintings, drawings, photography, ceramics, jewelry and other unique pieces. Popular artists such as Arlene Braithwaite, Royden Card, Richard Hardin, J. Brad Holt, Ron Spears, Kate Starling and many more will be featured.
Beyond the evening’s eye candy, guests are in for quite an entertaining night, as Brad Carroll, composer of Lend Me a Tenor The Musical, will host the evening and Peter Sham, lyricist for Lend Me a Tenor The Musical, will lead the bidding.
Proceeds from this fundraising gala support The Friends, which in January 2013 donated $25,000 to the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), marking an impressive total donation to the University’s most recent artistic undertakings of $75,000 in just three years. Friends like that don’t come around every day.
Speaking to the upcoming gala’s focus on Jones, Friends chair Anne Gardner said, “Jim’s work continues to inspire local artists. His sweeping atmospheric landscapes depicted in his final suite of work, was created for the future SUMA at SUU. We look forward to making Jim’s dream a reality and will do all we can to support the University’s ongoing progress toward establishing an arts community unlike any other across the region.”
Proceeds from the Friends Auction will also help fund an exhibit of Jim Jones’ work from his years in Mexico, scheduled to open in SUU’s Braithwaite Gallery in September 2013.
In years past, seating at this one-night-only auction and dinner has sold out in advance. Gardner is optimistic it will be just as, if not more, successful this year, given the great regional interest in the acclaimed Jim Jones, on top of an already strong affinity for SUU Arts.
Tickets, which include dinner, are $50 before February 21 and $55 thereafter. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery or at the local Artisans Gallery, on 94 West Center Street in Cedar City. Tickets may also be purchased by phone at 435-586-5432 or online at suu.edu/pva/artgallery/auction.