GREAT FALLS — Food, drink, socializing, an auctioneer yelling words and numbers just slightly slow enough that the human ear can comprehend them. These are some of the staples of art auctions, specifically the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art Annual Art Auction.
In year 23, however, things will look slightly different.
“Nobody would show up if we were doing it in-person,” explained the Museum’s Executive Director Sarah Justice. “We have no way to do that safely and we don’t have a big enough space. We did a lot of research, different online auction platforms, we watched other museums’ online auctions and did our due diligence and our research and made an executive decision to go online this year.”
The silent auction kicked off online here on July 31, and that will run through August 29.
That same day, the Museum will host their live auction, also online. Beginning at 5:30, there will be live music with Britta Lee and Rob Kohler, followed by an hour of Justice and Museum Curator Nicole Evans showcasing the art and other videos.
Proceeds from the auction will go towards one of three funds, which participants can choose from online: Historic Preservation of the building, Collections and Exhibitions, and Art Education.
All the available art for the auction is currently on view at the museum. People are still welcome to come in, even though the auction itself will not take place at the museum.
Admission is free, and the space is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., and Saturday from 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
If you don’t live in Great Falls but you still plan on participation in the live auction, you can go to the-square.org and be taken directly to the auction website. Bidding on the art is free (unless you win, of course), you can view all the available pieces without having to make an account.
And in case your home auction party needs an extra boost to reach the level of a typical auction: “We also have a deluxe ticket option that patrons can purchase if you’re local, for local audiences only,” said Justice. “What we’re doing is, for $150, you’ll get a bottle of wine, a charcuterie board, chocolate, fresh flowers and a Montana Women’s magazine delivered to your door the day of the live auction on August 29, so people can host their own in-house parties.”