Rist Canyon auction features Stove Prairie art

The Richard Schmid Fine Art Auction, part of the annual Rist Canyon Mountain Festival, had some new artists on display this year. Fourth- and fifth-grade students from Stove Prairie Elementary each contributed an original piece for the Sept. 4 event, and their work was sold in the silent auction.

Some of the student art sold for as much as $50, according to Wes Rutt of the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department. All Stove Prairie students were involved in the auction this year, with younger children creating signs and a background mural for the event.

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About 4,000 people attended the auction and festival, and the fire department netted between $35,000 and $40,000.

The auction grossed about $113,000 this year, Rutt said, about $20,000 down from last year. He attributed the downturn to the rocky economy, noting that there were fewer out-of-state bidders this year.

On the positive side, Rutt reported, there were 21 more buyers than at last year’s auction, and local pieces sold well. In particular, Lori Forest’s painting “In the Dead of the Night,” depicting last spring’s Crystal Fire, sold for a whopping $5,600, nearly triple its gallery value of $2,100.

Richard Schmid’s “Adele in Our Garden” attracted the highest bid, $17,000.