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Contemporary Forum Auctions Off 60 Pieces of Art Today

Nearly 60 pieces of contemporary art from some of the nation's finest artists will be available for purchase at the 20th annual Contemporary Forum Dinner and Auction beginning at 6 p.m. tonight, Friday, March 20 in the Cummings Great Hall at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix.

Contemporary Forum, a volunteer Phoenix Art Museum support organization, uses funds from the event to purchase contemporary artwork for the Museum's collection and to provide grants for emerging and mid-career artists. Artwork being auctioned includes ceramics, painting, mixed media, photography, sculpture and glass created by renowned local and national artists including Uta Barth, Nathan Mabry, Miguel Palma, Bassim Al Shakir, Matt Magee, Werner Segarra, Rachel Bess, Annie Lopez and Jim Waid, among many others.

Over the past 20 years, Contemporary Forum has purchased more than $3 million worth of artwork for the Phoenix Art Museum collection.

Since the inception of the Artists Grants Program in 1986, which also is made possible through the Nathan Cummings Foundation Endowment, Contemporary Forum has provided more than 160 emerging-artist grants totaling nearly $200,000. Six mid-career artists have received Arlene and Morton Scult Contemporary Forum Artist Awards totaling $30,000.

"This vital partnership with Contemporary Forum has enabled Phoenix Art Museum to significantly enhance and expand the museum's contemporary collection and has been instrumental in reaching and engaging important new audiences," said James K. Ballinger, Sybil Harrington Director, Phoenix Art Museum.

The Contemporary Forum Dinner and Auction committee previews several hundred works of art in the process of selecting the 60 pieces offered at the auction.

Co-chairs for the 2015 event are Kim Nikolaev and Mary Heiss Dorenbecher. Art co-chairs are Mimi Jardine and Patrick Gerlach. Silver Partners for the event are Cohn Financial Group, LLC, and Fennemore Craig, P.C. Bronze Partners are azarchitecture/Jarson & Jarson Real Estate, French Designer Jeweler, Jet Linx of Scottsdale, Lisa Sette Gallery, P.S. Studios, Inc., Quench Fine Wines and Versant Capital Management, Inc.

Individual tickets for the Contemporary Forum Dinner and Auction are $250 per person. Tables of 10 can be purchased for $2,500 and premiere tables for 10 are available for $3,500. Reservations are required. Young collectors, age 35 and under, can purchase individual tickets for $75 that provide admission to the event, cocktails and appetizers, but not table seating or dinner.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, art preview and silent auction. Dinner and the live auction, under the expertise of auctioneer Letitia Frye, begins at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, visit

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Sette Gallery

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