Art auction and festival nets nearly $98,000 for Rist Canyon firefighters

The High Park Fire spared the meadow across from the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department where the Richard Schmid Art Auction traditionally takes place on Labor Day weekend. The auction and mountain festival went on as planned, and raised a near-record $97,899 for the fire department.

“That’s the best we’ve done in many years,” said Wes Rutt, RCVFD member and organizer of the auction. “We’re very pleased.”

In recognition of the devastation created by this summer’s wildfires — Rist Canyon Fire Station No. 2 burned down along with 259 homes in the area — Schmid and other artists donated 100 percent of the sale price of 29 artworks. Schmid’s painting, always the centerpiece of the auction, sold for $33,000, Rutt said.

A total of 140 pieces were auctioned, 61 live and 87 in a silent auction, out of 606 entries in the juried competition.

A new wrinkle this year was the auction of a pie Barb Monesson baked from rhubarb that sprouted on the Davis Ranch property where her home once stood. It fetched $1,000, which Monesson donated to the RCVFD firefighters who lost their own homes in the fire.

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