First dollar mania event drew crowds

A work created by recently passed away artist Brent Puniwai (left rear) was clamored for during the auction

Photos and Story By Catherine Stachowiak

A turtle statue, previously owned by KRVAA Vice Pres. Brent Puniwai, who recently passed away, was of particular interest and was re-auctioned 

Saturday night, at the Elks Lodge in Wofford Heights, the Kern River Valley Art Association (KRVAA,) held its first Dollar Mania event, which was an art auction similar in style to the local Chinese auction.

President of the KRVAA, Christopher Buffalo Folsom said, “I want to welcome everybody. Thank you so much. It’s so nice to see all the faces that support us all the time. And we really, really appreciate it.”

The event drew a full house, that night, which began with a pre- auction social hour.

“Right now were expanding and were trying to do new and different things. Some of it may work out. Some of it may not.   But we’re doing the best we can. I have to thank all of my staff because they worked their butts off to do this. This is all new to me too, this type of an auction, so I can’t wait to see how fun it’s going to be.  And again thank you all for being here.”

Everyone attending bought the use of a brush, for $1 each, upon entrance to the event. Each person could bid a dollar and hold up their brush with a number for each item they bid on.  A person can hold a maximum of 4 brushes up, which was the limit of the number they were allowed to pay for, at the beginning.  

Kelley McCoy made the most of the Dollar Mania event that evening, bidding on more than one auction art piece

Holding up more than one brush would increase the bidder’s chances of winning the item they bid on due to the fact numbers were called, because bingo balls were drawn from a basket, and the person holding the brush numbered closest to the drawn number, without going over the number, won the item they bid on. 

Once a bidder won a piece of artwork, they had the opportunity of auctioning off an item they won.  The most popular item during the event was a sea turtle statue, which was previously owned by former Vice President of the KRVAA Brent Puniwai, who recently passed away.  Puniwai told the Kern Valley Sun, before he died, that he acquired the art piece in Hawaii.  Grant writer, Arthur Sidner, who won the item at a raffle during one of the KRVAAs art festivals, donated the item for auction.  The item was re-auctioned for $800, half of which was automatically donated, to the KRVAA.  

The KRVAA auctioned 63 pieces of art during the evening.