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West Sound Auction an artistic endeavor

POULSBO — For the fifth straight year, some of the nation and world’s top glass artists are providing their renowned artwork to help raise funds for a North Kitsap school.

West Sound Academy, a grade 6-12 school in Suquamish that features academics but also puts a strong emphasis on the arts, will hold its 5th annual art auction beginning at 4:30 p.m. March 8 at Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo.

Nellie Klinikowski, the head of school, said an art auction fits in with the school’s spirit.

“Whatever we do in the community, we like to reflect the school’s mission statement,” Klinikowski said. “And we have a strong arts component.”

Students have even chipped in to buy one piece of art, a carving of an otter, that will also be auctioned off March 8.

The emphasis on glass work began with auction board member Bob Carlson, who is also the auctioneer and has worked in glass since 1981 alongside such notables as Dale Chihuly.

When it came time for the first auction, Carlson called some of his artist friends and asked for donations. Carlson wasn’t sure whether Kitsap County would respond to high-level artwork, but the first event was a huge success.

“The reception was enthusiastic. We stepped it up after that and made it more formal,” said Carlson.

Eventually, Carlson said, the school needed to give some of the proceeds for each piece to the artists (most get 50 percent of the money paid for their artwork). That way, he explained, the school could auction off some of the better works.

“I consider it to be the finest collection of art and glass available in one place at one time in Kitsap County all year,” he said.

The work includes everything from glass sculpture to vases to highly-detailed goblets.

The auction offers plenty of other benefits. There’s two-dimensional art offered, including original paintings, prints and carved masks. Cocktails

and dinner will be included in the $75 cost.

Klinikowski said the auction draws participants from North Kitsap, Seattle and California.

“It’s a tremendously fun auction,” she said. “It’s a grand party.”

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