Wall by Wall and Work by Work, “Wet Paint” Raises A Record-breaking $125,000 for The Newport Art Museum

The offerings at The Newport Art Museum were all wet!


The Museum hosted its 21st annual “Wet Paint” a unique celebration of artwork created within the county in a single day and presented, still sticky, inside the John N.A. Griswold House to be sold to the highest bidder.


This year’s celebration honored Richard Grosvenor, a former Newport Art Museum board president and teacher at St. George’s School, who hatched the original idea for this much-loved event. According to opening remarks at the live auction from Museum Director Norah Diedrich, artists contributing their work traveled from as far away as Maine and were as young as five months (this wee Monet is believed to be the child of a museum staff member).


Richard Grosvenor's triptych entry

Inside the Ilgenfritz Gallery, paintings and handmade objects were displayed on five numbered walls and columns that closed for bidding incrementally before the start of Sunday’s anticipated live auction. Guests were visibly intrigued by the original pieces, and the noise level in the room increased to a dull roar as each wall closed to bidding. Sold!


Meanwhile, jurors Jessica Hagen of Jessica Hagen Fine Art + Design, Marie Keep and R. Brooke Roberts had chosen items to be included in the live auction in the tent on the lawn, where guests proceeded after the close of the final wall.



 Inside the tent, Auction Chair Rupert Nesbitt introduced each work, providing figurative “catalog notes” for the audience, and Auctioneer Marie Keep of Skinner, Inc. coaxed forth bids that went as high as $4300. Proceeds from the auction, event sponsorships, refreshments, donations and Saturday night’s Preview Party admission all benefit the fundraising efforts of Newport Art Museum.


Mr. Grosvenor himself entered a triptych painting of St. George’s School and the beautifully verdant hillside above Second Beach that stretched across three canvases, and when his piece was introduced, he received a standing ovation for his contributions to the Newport art community. Was it kept by auctioneer Marie Keep, who said "it stays with me"?


All told, 32 pieces were included in the live auction, and 400 artists contributed their time and talent in support of Newport Art Museum.


Seen were: Oatsie Charles, Margot Grosvenor, Kristen Coates, John Grosvenor, Jae French, Cynthia Sincliar and Karen Bevan.



                                                         written and photographed by Ali Gainor

Executive Director Norah Diedrich

Cristina Michta & Curator Nancy Grinell

Auction Chair Rupert Nesbitt, Auctioneer & Juror Marie Keep, Committee Co-Chair & Juror R. Brooke Roberts & Committee Co-Chair & Juror Jessica Hagen

Patrick Elliot, Nico Ecenarro & Molly Sabin

Anna Sroczynski

The scene in the tent

Director of Education Maggie Anderson & Director of Development Polly Lyman

Laura Gorham, Kristen Coates, Breaa Govenar & Sofia the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cristina Michta & auction item

A volunteer displays an auction item

The audience takes in a painting

A standing ovation for event honoree Richard Grosvenor

The front row

A particularly large auction item

The audience takes in a painting

Richard Grosvenor & Margot Grosvenor

Debbe Lewis & Ric Hedison with the paintings they purchased

The scene on the lawn

Youth artwork on the wall

Kimberly Skeen, Lucien Forbes & Jae French

Auction items

Rupert Nesbitt addresses the crowd


 To purchase an image, contact Linda(a)NewportSeen.com.  All images copyrighted.











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