PORTSMOUTH — Only days remain to bid on more than 100 works by regional artists in the Portsmouth Historical Society’s “Jubilee” art auction that ends at 6 p.m. Oct. 7.
Half the proceeds support Discover Portsmouth and the John Paul Jones House Museum while the other half goes directly to 50 contributing artists. The online auction offers an array of paintings, many featuring familiar scenes, plus handcrafted jewelry, sculpture, woodworking and clothing.
“Buyers take home a treasured original new work of art while supporting its talented creator and the city’s 100-year-old historical society,” said PHS Executive Director Brian LeMay.
This year’s fall auction lets bidders join via a special online platform. BiddingForGood is a charitable e-commerce company designed to connect fundraisers, cause-conscious shoppers and socially responsible businesses. A desktop or laptop computer is the best way to view the gallery.
Art lovers can reach the auction via the PHS website, PortsmouthHistory.org. Bidding instructions are included. Each item has an opening bid minimum, description of the artwork and added details about the artist. The auction software also features a “Buy Now” button for those who can’t wait to own a favorite item.
“We’ve already had three exciting buy-out sales,” said development associate Joyce Tucker, who prepared the auction with Beth Jefferson and the 2020 Jubilee Committee. Tucker said the buy-out bidders purchased a pair of handcrafted silver and pearl earrings, an intricate piece of woven art titled African Necklace, and a colorful woven cotton rug named Splash of Color. Tucker said buyers who wish to see specific works “up close and personal” may email her at joyce@Portsmouthhistory.org or call (603) 570-2492 for a private viewing.
“Art, culture and history define Portsmouth,” LeMay said, “and this year both our artist community and our local nonprofits have been hit hard financially by the pandemic.”
This year’s exhibition, “Threads 2020,” highlights an array of contemporary and historical hand-sewn quilts in three galleries on two floors of Discover Portsmouth. Two giant “Community Quilts” created from swatches made by society fans during the ongoing pandemic have recently gone on display.
Despite hard times and social distancing, welcome center visitors have been blown away by “Threads,” according to Discover Center staff and volunteers. The 2020 exhibition – including George Washington’s bedspread and a stunning 1876 Centennial Quilt loaned by New Hampshire resident and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns – continues through Nov. 9.
“It’s been a very tough year for corporate sponsorships, particularly from small, local businesses, which have traditionally been our bread-and-butter,” said exhibition manager Meredith Affleck. “That’s why our Jubilee auction, donations, new memberships and museum shop sales are so important. Despite it all, we’re extremely proud of the work we’ve accomplished and the wonderful response from the community.”
“The art of today becomes the exhibition inspiration for tomorrow,” said PHS development director Judy Loto. “Portsmouth simply would not be Portsmouth without its arts community. And this is a perfect chance to own a piece of it.”
“Threads: A Community Quilt for 2020” is open at 10 Middle St. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday through Monday. Admission is free. Masks are required and available free. For walking tour tickets, guided tours of the John Paul Jones House Museum, Society memberships, and the latest events and virtual lectures visit www.portsmouthhistory.org or call (603) 436-8433.