Ah Haa: “Lights, Camera, Auction”

Ah Haa: “Lights, Camera, Auction”

The Ah Haa School for the Arts 22nd annual art auction, “The Art of Film,” takes place Friday, July 18. Buy your ticket now.

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Ah Haa’s auction, the backstory:

In his book, “The Power of Film,” author Colin McGinn explores the way the silver screen interacts with our squash.

“Movies carry some sort of psychic charge that no other art form – perhaps no other spectacle – can quite match.”

Hold onto your seats: the Telluride Film Festival is not until August 29. But you will feel that same frisson when Telluride’s Ah Haa School for the Arts holds its 22nd annual art auction on Friday, July 18, 6 – 10 p.m. The theme: ‘Lights. Camera, Auction!: The Art of Film.”

In 1989, when Daniel Tucker received an inheritance, rather than choosing to acquire new toys with the windfall, the artist-adventurer decided to give back. The school Tucker founded, like the man’s life, would be about the triumph of personal discovery. “Ah Haa” is a close approximation of the Greek “eureka,” the utterance attributed to Archimedes upon discovering a method for determining the purity of gold.

Since opening its doors in 1990 and rolling the dice on the creative souls in the Telluride community, Ah Haa grew to garner national praise for its high-quality diverse programming. Case in point: Ah Haa was included in a book entitled “Best 100 Small Art Towns in America.” The author praised Ah Haa and described Telluride as “home to one of America’s great small-town art centers.”

Ah Haa’s summer auction typically attracts art aficionados, hard-core bargain hunters, artists, and lovers of fun and good food, anyone and everyone who appreciates a good time for a good cause.

How good?

Ah Haa’s Topo art car, for sale at its annual auction

Ah Haa’s Topo art car, for sale at its annual auction


In 2013, Ah Haa offered over 150 workshops for kids, which were attended by 700 students. Over $10,000 in tuition assistance was given. Also last year, over 100 workshops were offered for adults, supported by over 100 artists and teachers. They were attended by over 600 students, some of whom also received tuition assistance amounting to over $10,000. At Ah Haa’s sister school, the American Academy of Bookbinding (Tucker is a book artist), 25 weeks of classes were offered to over 100 students and over $13,000 was given in tuition assistance to participants, In all, last year Ah Haa offered over $50,000 in tuition assistance so the school could live up to its reputation as a community arts center.

The fact Ah Haa offers tuition assistance is all the more impressive given the struggle it shares with art schools around the country, particularly those in rural communities with limited populations.

“Operating an art school in a small, dual community is a financial challenge. Tuition income covers less than half the cost of running our classes, and many of our programs are offered for free or at a reduced rate. Thanks to the immense generosity of numerous friends and supporters, we are able to meet our budget requirements each year – 60% of our revenue comes from donations and fundraising…” (from the 2013 annual report)

Why support Ah Haa by attending the auction?

“To give everyone the chance to be an artist; to inspire established and emerging artists everyday; to support the region’s only organization of its kind; to spark creativity and innovation; to be part of something meaningful and life-changing,” explained Ah Haa direct, Judy Kohin.

The live auction:

Bid right and filmmaker Ken Burns will talk with you over an intimate dinner at  Rustico's

Bid right and filmmaker Ken Burns will talk with you over an intimate dinner at Rustico

This year, more than 100 artworks and many services and trips were donated by the region’s artists, businesses and supporters of the school. Some of the items on the block were made especially for the event. In keeping with the theme, “Art of Film,” one major item in the silent auction is an original signed print by the iconic animator Chuck Jones, which was donated by his family.

The following is a list of the exciting and imaginative live auctions packages, a number of which are perfect for you and your BFFs to bid on together.

Examples of great opportunities for collective bidding:

The Art of Fly Fishing

An all-day fly fishing excursion for four at an exclusive private fishing camp on the Uncompahgre River near Montrose. Local award-winning fishing guides Josh Johnson and Midnite Scholtes are your guides as you drop lines into one of three ponds, or cast flies into a stunning private section of river. The outing includes a scrumptious lunch and all the libations you desire while relaxing on an expansive porch overlooking the grounds and the Uncompahgre River.

Value: $1,800

Wild Mushroom Overnight Adventure for 12 at High Camp Hut 

Enjoy an intimate overnight outing with your closest friends to Telluride’s beautiful High Camp Hut, a cabin that sleeps 12, located in the San Juan Mountains backcountry. Start with a private wild mushroom foray guided by John Sir Jesse in the pristine spruce forest surrounding High Camp. Then gather in the hut’s open kitchen for a hands-on mushroom cooking demonstration, culminating in a delicious dinner. Then relax in the hut’s wood-burning sauna or outdoor wood-fired hot tub before turning in for the night.

Value: $2,800

Girlfriends’ Glam Night Package 

Indulge in an over-the-top weekend for two that includes spa pampering, tickets to the Telluride AIDS Benefit Gala Fashion Show, and a suite for the night at the luxurious boutique hotel, Lumière Telluride – plus lots of extras! Prepare for the TAB Gala with facials and custom cosmetic consultations from Alpenglow Beauty in Mountain Village; then do happy hour with a $50 gift certificate at Lumière’s ultra chic Little Bar. This fun package also includes three bottles of award winning Marilyn Monroe wines.

Value: $1,800

Golfers’ Dream Package 

Spend the next year honing your golf game at eight different world-class resorts, from Telluride to Moab to Arizona, including guidance from a pro golfer and a luxury two-night stay. This idyllic golf package includes rounds of golf for two to four people at Ridgway’s Divide Ranch & Club; Moab Golf Course; Cedaredge Golf Club; Telluride Golf Club; Steamboat’s Haymaker Golf Course; Cave Creek, Arizona’s Rancho Manana; Angel Fire Golf Resort near Taos, and Tubac Golf Resort & Spa in Arizona.

Value: $3,700

Filmmaker Suzan Beraza of “bag It” fame will shoot and edit a short film of your choice

Filmmaker Suzan Beraza of “Bag It” fame will shoot and edit a short film of your choice

Also on the catwalk:

Film Fest 2014

10 Passes to The Palm Theater, The Galaxy Theater, or the Chuck Jones Cinema

6 tickets to the Opening Night Feed on Main St.

1 Gift Bag

2 After-the-Film Festival Passes

Sponsored by Azadi Fine Rugs

Value: Priceless!

Kids’ Private Movie Screening and Pizza Party  

Make your child’s next birthday party a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a private screening of the movie of your choice at Telluride’s Nugget Theater. Then head over to the Depot for post-movie festivities, including a pizza party by Brown Dog and a custom cake by Cheryl.

Value: $2,000

Nugget Theater donated by Telluride Film Festival

Ingrid Lundahl Photograph & Book

Beloved Telluride photographer Ingrid Lundah’s beautiful infrared photograph, “End of the Telluride Valley, 1988” plus her new retrospective photography book, “Telluride: The Outlaw Spirit of a Colorado Town”

Value: $1,350

Amy Schilling Necklace

This bejeweled opera-length necklace can also be worn as a bracelet, belt or even adorn your wall. Designed and fabricated by Amy Schilling, the piece contains recycled glass beads from Ghana, reclaimed sterling silver and cast beads.

Value: $1,250

Sponsored by Lynn Brubaker and Richard Cornelius

Unique Film Reel Wine Rack and Six Exclusive Wines 

A one-of-a-kind tabletop wine rack by Jill Peelor Rikkers made with original Telluride Film Festival film reels. Includes a special selection of wines from the personal cellar of Catherine McNamee and Chris Miller of Silverado Vineyards.

Value: $1,800

Moab Skydiving Adventure Package 

Add some serious adventure to your life with this Skydive Moab package for two, complete with a Hero 3 Go Pro (yours to keep) for recording your epic jump, and an overnight stay at the scenic Red Cliffs Lodge on the banks of the Colorado River.

Value $1,600

Reel Thing Short Film/Promotional Video

Award-winning documentary film director Suzan Beraza (Bag It [2010]; Uranium Drive-In [2013]) and her team at Reel Thing Productions will shoot and edit a short film or professional piece of your choice. Document your family reunion, create a dream murder mystery spoof, or promote your spec house or newly opened business. This priceless package includes up to two hours of on-location shooting, culminating in a five-minute film with professional-quality sound, music and editing.

Value: $3,500

Handcrafted Oak Garden Bench by Glen Pihl

A meticulously designed and crafted outdoor bench using 1800s-era oak reclaimed from disassembled barns. Created by longtime Telluride artisan Glen Pihl, this handsome bench is the perfect addition to any porch, patio or garden.

Value: $800

Private Lunch with Ken Burns

Legendary director and producer Ken Burns will be your guest at your very own Slow-Food style Italian lunch for three at Telluride’s Rustico Ristorante on Sunday, August 24. Sip some Prosecco and nibble antipasto while chatting with Ken about the work he does telling America’s stories. This is a rare opportunity for some casual one-on-one time with one of America’s most respected filmmakers. Includes a signed copy of Ken’s book, The National Parks, America’s Best Idea.

Value: Priceless

The Art TOPO Car

Take home this year’s classic Ah Haa Art Car! This mint-condition, 1988 Suzuki Samurai turned ART TOPO CAR boasts a soft, convertible top, 5-speed manual transmission and four-wheel drive.  With just 114,00 miles, the car is light and nimble, perfect for around town or going off road. Covered in regional topographical maps, you’ll be the envy of everyone you meet as you stylishly travel over Imogene, Ophir and Last Dollar passes. Includes original framed map by Tor Anderson.

Value: Priceless!

Film stars and legendary beauties Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn are your emcees.

Skydive in Moab and stay at the Red Cliffs Lodge

Skydive in Moab and stay at the Red Cliffs Lodge

On this special evening, several of Telluride’s favorite watering holes are offering specials, among them, Siam, Cosmo, La Marmotte and Floradora.

And just for this special evening, Rainbow Preschool is offering $20 babysitting from 6 to 10:30 p.m., (including dinner for your child). To take advantage of this great offer, parents need to pre-purchase at least one $25 ticket to the auction by calling Ah Haa at 728-3886.

Dress in your best red carpet duds (or not) and join Ah Haa and friends for a very special evening of entertainment.

 Buy your auction ticket now.

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