Fine Art Photography Auction Raises Scholarship Funds for Academy of Art University Students

On Saturday, March 7, 2009, the Academy of Art University welcomed hundreds of photography collectors, and dealers to its highly anticipated First Annual Faculty & Alumni Fine Art Photography auction at 79 Gallery in the heart of San Francisco. Photography enthusiasts from across the country bid over $19,000 on the provocative and exquisite selection of fresh works by nationally acclaimed AAU faculty and alumni photographers. With special thanks to Bonhams & Butterfields, half of the proceeds from the First Annual Faculty & Alumni Fine Art Photography auction benefit students through the Photography Student Scholarship Fund, with the rest dispersed directly to the artists themselves.

“The stunning turnout and generous bidding at the First Annual Faculty & Alumni Fine Art Photography auction confirms the value of the visual arts in our lives,” says Dr. Elisa Stephens, President of the Academy of Art University. “Even in a challenging economic climate, collectors recognized talent and wanted to bring the top artistry in the country into their collections and homes. Our Photography Student Scholarship Fund will be directly passed on to deserving AAU School of Photography students through our merit-based juries at the 2009 Annual Spring Show this coming May.”

The artists of top-grossing works from the 2009 Fine Art Photography auction included Cissy Spindler, Ryan Baldwin, and Lisa Levine. Based in the Santa Ynez Valley, Cissy Spindler has been teaching and developing curriculum for the Academy of Art University groundbreaking online program for years. In her own work, Spindler focuses on “distilling the essence of the subject into a simple visual statement.” Ryan Baldwin is the AAU Director of Online Photography and infuses his own photography with themes of environmental awareness and cultural preservation. Lisa Levine also teaches in the AAU School of Photography and exhibits her work at galleries and museums across the country.