KDUR bills its Furniture As Art auction as Artists turning the ordinary into the extraordinary," and in this rarest of
instances, the reality exceeds the hype.
All of us just do amazing things for this every year. I don't know why we pour our heart and soul into it. But we do
because we love our KDUR, so the auction should be incredible again," said jeweler-artist Jeff Wise, who with his wife,Susan, has contributed a piece to Furniture As Art in each of its nine years.
Few who ever have attended would argue with Wise. Every year a standing-room-only crowd packs into the Durango Arts
Center theater for the Fort Lewis College radio station's largest single-day fundraising event, and every year winning
bidders are rewarded with one-of-a-kind pieces of art that may have been mistaken for garbage just a few days
The concept is easy enough to understand. Artists are encouraged to start with an old piece of furniture and augment it
however they see fit until it is transformed into a genuine work of art. Over the years, the criteria has been tweaked
and expanded to include things such as doors, mirrors, chess sets and lighting fixtures.
We've got some incredibly exciting pieces. They're fun, creative, and you usually know the artist, which makes it more
personable," said Debra Parmenter, who with her husband, Terry Bacon, probably owns more Furniture As Art pieces than
anyone else, although such records never have been kept. The couple's collection includes pieces from Tim Hunter, Jules
Masterjohn, Debbie Gorton, Bill Bowlby, Maureen May, Michael Brieger and Preston Parrott, and each is prominently
displayed in their home.
It's one of the best events of the whole year. It's different than any other fundraiser and has great energy," she
This year's event has a few new twists. Every previous Furniture As Art event has included a silent auction, and this
year is no different. But this time, the silent auction will feature artwork by 22 emerging and established artists in
addition to the more expected fare of goods and services from local businesses.
The silent auction will be held in the DAC's Barbara Conrad Gallery, where a simulcast of the live auction also will be
shown to accommodate those who can't fit into the theater. Also, patrons can view the ongoing Members' Exhibit,which will share the gallery for one night only.
Add in music by Tom MacCluskey and Bob Newnam, food from Norton's Catering, beer and wine (each patron receives two
free drinks because Ska Brewing Co. and Wagon Wheel Liquors donate the liquor), and it's easy to see why Furniture As
Art is on the A-list among Durango fundraisers.
KDUR Development Director Ellen Stein said the changes for 2010 were by design to bring more artists into the fold and
to place the focus of the event firmly on the artists.
Other than our member listeners and businesses, the support for KDUR through this event is unparalleled," Stein
Community radio is an art in and of itself, and with these artists donating their work, it's a unique way to sustain
the station. Each of our shows is unique, and what these artists do parallels that," she said.
The event typically brings in about $15,000 for KDUR in auction and ticket sales, and the 2010 version has a chance to
set a new record. At 25 pieces, it's the largest live auction yet, including six newcomers, and combined with the new
silent auction format, more artwork will be up for bid than in any of the eight preceding events.