Bellevue Arts Museum hosts most successful annual auction gala, raising over 1.3 million during Artful Evening

July 22, 2015
Images (left to right): Raise the Paddle Photo: Robert Wade; Live Auction and Curator Tour Photos: Anna Indalecio

July 22, 2015
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Bellevue, WA—On Saturday, July 18, 2015, guests filled the Hyatt Regency Bellevue ballroom for Artful Evening, Bellevue Arts Museum's annual fundraising gala. This year's event was the most successful Artful Evening to date—raising over 1.3 million in support of the Museum's mission to bring regional, national, and international artists to the Pacific Northwest with a focus on art, craft, and design. Proceeds from Artful Evening cover nearly one third of the Museum's annual budget, helping to bring exceptional exhibitions and educational programs that are accessible and affordable to all members of the community.

The Raise the Paddle portion of the evening alone raised over $500,000 in support of Bellevue Arts Museum. The Klorfine Foundation, started by Norma and Leonard Klorfine, offered a generous dollar-for-dollar match up to $500,000, totaling more than $1 million in straight cash donations for the evening. Sherry and Larry Benaroya made the final generous donation meeting the Museum's $500,000 goal for the Klorfine Foundation Match.

"The amazing support of the greater Northwest community during Artful Evening demonstrated just how much BAM's continuing excellence has come to be appreciated," said Leonard and Norma Klorfine of the Klorfine Foundation. "Bravo to the entire staff, volunteers, board, advisory council, and docents for all their hard work throughout the year."

"I am so pleased that our community pulled together to help meet our challenge match," said Linda Pawson, Executive Director of BAM. "We are thrilled to be able to continue to bring world-class arts and educational programming to the area and to be a catalyst for learning, dialogue, and inspiration."

This year, Artful Evening recognized Honorees Frances and Rick Taylor and the Security, Maintenance, and Engineering Teams at Kemper Development Company for their strong commitment and countless contributions to the Museum and BAM ARTSfair.

The evening began with a tour of the live auction art led by BAM's Director of Art, Craft, & Design, Stefano Catalani and Curator of Craft, Jennifer Navva Milliken, featuring one-of-a-kind experiences and artworks donated by renowned artists such as Dale Chihuly, Evelyn Dunstan, April Surgent, Dante Marioni and Preston Singletary. Three silent auctions featured over 100 works donated by 2015 BAM ARTSfair artists from around the nation. New features of the auction this year included The Jewel Box showcasing jewelry from local and international artists as well as music from Maracuja and The uGLYs.

Artful Evening continues the longstanding tradition of the Patron Party, which was held in advance of BAM ARTSfair to showcase the prize winners of the fair starting after the first fair in 1947. This gala has transformed into one of the biggest fundraisers on the Eastside.

GLY Construction and the Klorfine Foundation are the Presenting Sponsors of this year's Artful Evening. Supporting Sponsors include Boeing, U.S. Bank, Virginia Mason, U.S. Trust, MacDonald-Miller, Bullseye Projects, Susan and Lonnie Edelheit, Scott Erickson and Rodger Benson, Anne and Lee Kilcup, Norma and Leonard Klofine, Dr. Julie Miller and Marvin Miller, Nelson Electric, Joel and Ginger Petersen, Steve and Tami Peterson, John and Joyce Price, Frances and Rick Taylor, and Susan Thurston.

The excitement continues with the upcoming Bellevue Arts Museum ARTSfair this weekend. BAM prepares to welcome more than 300 juried artists and 300,000 visitors to downtown Bellevue, July 24 - 26. With KIDSfair, live performances, mouth-watering food, and of course original, handcrafted art available to take home, BAM ARTSfair offers something for everybody!

Bellevue Arts Museum is a leading destination in the Pacific Northwest to experience art, craft, and design. BAM engages the community through exhibitions, programs, and publications, featuring regional, national, and international artists.