An art auction raised thousands of pounds for a Leicester charity.
More than 70 guests and artists attended the first Soft Touch Arts fundraising art auction, held at Abbotts Oak Manor hotel near Markfield on September 29.
Soft Touch Art’s first fundraising art auction
Artists from across Leicestershire, including Jonjo Elliot, Maria Collingham, Stephen Allbutt and Sarah Kirby, donated works of art which were auctioned off to raise cash for the New-Walk-based charity’s ST-art project.
The weekly ST-art initiative gives 60 young people a year the opportunity to develop creative talents and be part of the cultural life of the city.
Business leaders from across the city and county attended the auction.
Mattioli Woods picked up five bought pieces of art for its new headquarters, set to open on the former city council offices site in New Walk next year.
Jonjo Elliott’s ‘Wander Record’
One of the works, ‘Wander Record’, by Leicester artist Jonjo Elliott, raised £405.
Jonjo said: “I’m really inspired by the ST-art project and the work Soft Touch are doing, and I’m very pleased I could help them raise funds by selling a piece of my art.”
Limited edition Rita Hayworth print by Tim Fowler
Tim Fowler, another up and coming local artist, donated a limited edition print ‘Rita Hayworth’ which was snapped up by the co-owner of Chutney Ivy Restaurant, Simon Postlethwaite.
The highest bid of the night was £500, sent in by email, which secured a limited edition print ‘One in Four’ donated by nationally acclaimed artists Scarlett Raven and Marc Marot.
Jonathan Costall’s Claudio Ranieri print
Another popular print was Jonathan Costall’s ‘Claudio Ranieri” which sold for £205.
In total the evening raised £5,500.
Soft Touch director Chris Wigmore said: “The auction was quite a big thing to organise and it was nerve wracking as we weren’t sure if people would bid on the art.
“I was so thrilled when it all went to plan and the bids came rolling in.
“The artists who donated work have been just fantastic to support our charity in this way.
Chris Wigmore of Soft Touch Arts (Image: Will Johnston)
“Our auctioneer on the night, Lal Sangra, gave up his time for free and although he had never run an art auction really got the crowd going to bid on the art.
“We also sold work made by young people involved in Soft Touch projects which was a thrilling experience for them.”
Nationally acclaimed artists who donated artwork included Mark Titchner (Turner Prize nominee), John Pawson, Lynn Dennison, Jennie Tuffs, Joan Somerville, Paul Horton, Scarlett Raven and Joan Somerville.