Quake fundraiser staggered by generosity of top artists

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The organiser of a Queenstown art auction that’s fundraising for the Christchurch quake is staggered by the response from leading artists. 

With help from local galleries, “Art With Heart” organizer and Arrowtown furniture designer Ed Cruikshank, has sourced more than 20 works from some of New Zealand’s most famous artists. 

Big names include New York-based Max Gimblett, Dick Frizzell, Gretchen Albrecht, Pat Day, local landscape painters Peter Beadle and Garrick Tremain and Australian artist/Queenstown property owner Jane Pestell-Litton. 

Local sculptors Shane Woolridge, Dan Kelly and Mark Hill are also contributing pieces for the auction at Millbrook Resort tonight (Friday). 

The idea of the auction grew from Cruikshank deciding to auction a revolving black walnut and gun-blued steel table that was part of the recent international Roundabout exhibition in Wellington. 

“In the day or two after the earthquake, you wonder what you can do, you feel a bit helpless not being a doctor or an emergency person. 

“And I just thought, it’s bloody obvious, I’ll do what I can do best and raise some money through what I do professionally – why not auction the biggest thing I’ve ever done, which is this table.” 

Cruikshank has engraved the table with a special message for Christchurch people. 

The response from other artists has been “quite staggering”, Cruikshank says. 

“The auction is a great example of how people can carry on with their normal lives and continue giving to the people of Christchurch.”

Pieces are expected to attract bids from $500 up to $30,000. 

The auctioneer will be former longtime Christchurch realtor David Murray, who owns Bayleys Queenstown. 

The venue is Millbrook’s conference centre. 

Viewing is from 5.30pm, with the auction starting an hour later.