Artwork held in the archives of the state Arts Commission could soon be on the auction block as a way to help advance the arts and higher education. Under Senate Bill 6597, the state Arts Commission would choose works from among more than 4,000 pieces in its collection to be auctioned to raise a minimum of $5 million. Speaking on KOMO Radio in Seattle, bill sponsor Sen. Karen Keiser says forty percent of the funds would be directed back to the commission to conserve, repair and acquire art.
Sen. Keiser: “We’ve already cut their funding by 20 percent and I think they are vulnerable to elimination.”
Sixty percent of the funds raised would be dedicated to the State Needs Grant program, which saw 26,000 qualified college students turned away last year.
Sen. Keiser: “Those who qualify for state needs grants unfortunately are not receiving any financial aid from the state right now because we don’t have any money.”
Auctioning just 250 pieces, at an estimated auction price of $20,000 each, would meet the $5 million goal and allow the art to be displayed rather than stored away. Under the terms of the bill, the first public auction would take place by June of 2013.