'Something for everybody' at annual Winnipeg art auction, cupcake party

'Something for everybody' at annual Winnipeg art auction, cupcake party

More than 150 original artworks and over 1,000 cupcakes were packed into a Winnipeg art studio this weekend as part of a fundraiser for a group supporting local women artists.

“If you’re not into art, maybe you’re into cupcakes or maybe you’re into winning [raffle] baskets. There’s something for everybody,” said Yvette Cenerini, an artist and volunteer at the Over the Top art auction and cupcake party.

The event is an annual fundraiser for Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, or MAWA, according to co-executive director Shawna Dempsey. Artists donate their work — this year they got 178 pieces — and participants bid in a silent auction while munching the cupcakes.

Shawna Dempsey MAWA

Shawna Dempsey is the co-executive director of Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art. (Rosalie Loiselle/Radio-Canada)

In years gone by, the event has raised as much as $38,000 in net revenue, Dempsey said.

“A lot of people get involved with MAWA through this event — it’s the first contact they have, it’s how they come through the door. So that’s really exciting,” she said.

“But also, this single event raises about 12 per cent of our annual budget, so it’s really important. It pays for a lot of our core programming.”

The group provides mentorship and education for female artists, who are underrepresented and underpaid compared to their male counterparts, Demsey said.

MAWA Art Auction

Artists donate art because MAWA has supported them, Dempsey said. (Rosalie Loiselle/Radio-Canada)

MAWA’s programs range from formal professional memberships to guest lectures, beading groups and “crafternoons,” Dempsey said.

“There’s many ways to get involved with MAWA, and MAWA has touched many people. So they give back, by donating their artwork,” she said.

Cenerini said she felt that support when she graduated from fine arts school, and it’s part of the reason she’s been donating to the auction for the past several years.

MAWA cupcake art auction

Volunteers baked and donated more than 1,000 cupcakes for the event. (Rosalie Loiselle/Radio-Canada)

“I think the success of this auction is that everyone here feels that MAWA has somehow impacted their lives or their careers,” she said.

“I will willingly donate artwork every year just to support the program — because I’ve received so much, I’m giving back so others can also benefit.”

This year’s art auction event started Friday with a free viewing of the art that continued Saturday. The cupcake party and bidding started on Sunday at MAWA’s Main Street studio.

Published at Sun, 18 Mar 2018 17:43:55 -0400