Photography by Tiffany Bri
On Saturday, April 30, Pratt Fine Arts Center held their 34th Annual Fine Art Auction with the theme, “Pratt Prom: Forever Devoted.” Guests pulled out all the stops at this event, with some people even wearing what they wore to their actual Prom. In the spirit of supporting Pratt, everyone’s enthusiasm to play the part was evident in the spirit of the evening. Be sure to see Tiffany Bri’s photos for the amazing outfits and familiar faces.
Held at the Bell Conference Center, guests began to trickle into the event in the most “out there” outfits. Walking to the event itself was pretty funny, because it was actually Prom weekend for some high schools in the area. When walking into the venue, there was a Pratt volunteer fully dressed in high school teacher attire. She was entirely committed to character, with a ruler in hand and everything. Guests could enjoy Pratt Prom Punch (which was spiked). There were also Pratt Prom flasks already one-quarter filled with vodka for guests to strengthen their cocktails. To say the least, this was definitely the “cool” prom.
Attendees meandered the Bell Conference space as they looked at the silent auction items. With a DJ playing only throwbacks, Tiffany and I agreed that this was the best commitment to theme at an auction we had seen thus far. To indicate that the silent auctions were over and that dinner would soon begin, a pep band came through to lead the guests downstairs to the dining area. Again, commitment was so real. Descending into the dining area was like taking a step back in time as it was decorated just as a retro prom would have been. So many guests were reveling in the throwback. We even saw couples that had gone all out and bought corsages and boutonnieres for the event.
For the live auction, the Jury Members consisted of: Susan Marabito of Chihuly Studio, independent art curator Kathleen Moles, and installation artist June Sekiguchi. Auctioneer Ian Lindsay kept things high energy during the auction, while often making jokes about prom. At the beginning of the event, he asked everyone who was wearing their actual prom outfit from high school, and then he asked those who rebelled against prom to stand. Executive Director Steve Galatro brought up how that day appropriately marked his four years at the Pratt Fine Arts Center. The outcome was playful and fun, as everyone was there to support Pratt and Pratt artists. CoCA Executive Director Nichole DeMent served as the reader during the auction and seamlessly assisted Ian throughout the entire fundraising portion. In an array of nostalgia and celebration, the entire arts community came together to support Pratt as a platform for emerging artists as well as a group solidarity of everyone’s awkward prom memories.