The benefit auction for the Washington Project for the Arts (already canceled twice because of Covid-19!!) will finally be open for online bidding at 6:30 pm today (Thursday July 30th) at Artsy. In celebration of the WPA’s 45th Anniversary, the auction features many of the artists who over the years exhibited at this important venue for contemporary art in Washington DC. Among the 90 participating artists are, Ida Applebroog, Neke Carson, Fred Wilson, and John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres. Bidding continues through August 13.
Gallery 98’s Marc H Miller’s long relationship with the WPA dates back to the alternative art space’s founding in 1975 in a dilapidated building on G Street in Washington D.C. Most memorably, in 1978 Miller and Bettie Ringma collaborated with the WPA’s founder Alice Denney in bringing an iconoclastic group of young New York artists to Washington to create what was billed as the world’s first Punk Art exhibition. You can peruse the catalog of this now historic exhibition online.
One of the significant items in the current WPA auction is Miller and Ringma’s photo portfolio “Bettie Visits CBGB,” which was included in the Punk Art exhibition. This project was conceived in the context of conceptual art when artists in the early 1970s broke from formal art concerns to reach audiences outside the traditional art world. Click on the photos to view a short 90-second video. “Bettie Visits CBGB” is auction lot #16 in the WPA Benefit Auction.