Local art buffs give big for quake victims

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A Queenstown art auction raised about $75,000 for the Red Cross Christchurch earthquake appeal.

The “Art With Heart” auction, attended by about 200 people, was held at Millbrook Resort last Friday.

All 24 lots, including paintings by big-name Kiwi artists Max Gimblett, Dick Frizzell and Gretchen Albrecht, sold.

The biggest ticket item was a revolving black walnut and gun-blued steel table by Arrowtown furniture designed Ed Cruikshank, who organised the auction.

It sold for $25,000 to a Christchurch family.

“They’ve very kindly said they’re really happy for me to continue to show it in our gallery in Arrowtown,” Cruikshank says.

Cruikshank – with metalwork help from artist Ernie Maluschnig – designed the table for the recent Roundabout exhibition in Welllington and had it engraved with a special message for Christchurch.

Other items sold included wall-mounted deer antlers by Glenorchy sculptor Dan Kelly, which fetched $7000, a Pat Day painting which went for $15,000, a sculpture by Arrowtowner Shane Woolridge, daggily called “It’s Not Our Fault”, which fetched $6000 and a Todd Cooper sculpture which went for $10,000.

“I’m really chuffed,” Cruikshank says.

“People bid way over the odds on a lot of things and it just shows their generosity.”

Cruikshank says he’s keen to make the auction an annual event, possibly in support of a local cause next time.

“This has given me the impetus to want to do it again, having seen what we can achieve in three and a half weeks.”