Friday, April 23, 2004

"Naptime" incorporates odd, funny, full-figured beings for which local artist Esther Shimazu is known. The stoneware and stainless steel piece measures 9 1/2-by-15-by-4 1/2 inches.

Going... going...

Time is running out to bid on artwork
in the ConTempo 2004 silent auction

If you're one of the thousands who have new digs thanks to low interest rates, you might be in need of a little artwork to color blank walls or grace the foyer, and Neiman Marcus is the place to shop around.

No, the upscale retailer hasn't gotten into the art gallery business, but it's the place to go to view and bid on works by veteran artists and promising newcomers in a silent auction that is part of a sold-out ConTempo 2004 event, presented by Neiman Marcus and the Friends of the Contemporary Museum, to benefit the museum.

If you see something you like, today is the last day to sign up as an absentee bidder. The cutoff time is 4 p.m., though works will continue to be on view through tomorrow. Absentee bidding forms are available at the Neiman Marcus concierge desk or can be downloaded from the museum's Web site at

Roy DeForest's "Dog Bench #1," of painted bronze, glass and aluminum. DeForest is a founding member of California's humorous figuration movement, a k a "Funk."

The annual event offers a boost to such young artists as Tracy Gunn and Duncan Dempster, whose works are on view along with established Hawaii and nationally renowned artists such as John Buck, Masami Teraoka, Roy DeForest and Dale Chihuly.

Novice collectors are also assured that the invited artists measure up to criteria established by the Contemporary Museum curators for high-quality "ContempoRarities" in a wide range of media and scale.

Starting bids ranged from $250 for Wayne Morioka's earthenware and oil paint "Chocolate Mochi Mouse" mask, to $60,000 for John Buck's "Boat Day," a sculpture of jelutong wood, motor and acrylic paint, featuring familiar island icons such as a hula maiden, a surfer, Diamond Head and pineapples -- with a kinetic twist.

There are commissioned works as well, ranging from Esther Shimazu's "Naptime" sculpture, valued at $5,000, to Deborah Butterfield's cast bronze "Bo Tree," valued at $220,000.

Proceeds benefit the museum's public programs, furthering its mission of promoting an appreciation and understanding of contemporary art.

For more information, call the museum at 526-1322.

Lori Uyehara's "Uneven Rhythms," a mixed media and wood sculpture. The work was created as part of a series for "Multiple Personalities: The Human Landscape," exhibited last year at the Honolulu Academy of Arts Linekona Center.

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