(Washington, DC, March 27, 2017) --  Whether or not you are an arts patron or an artist, and whether you are attending or not, we thought you might like a little more insight into this Saturday's auction gala -- our 36th. Here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions.

What's different about this year's Auction?
It is curated primarily by artists. That is a big change. It reflects our desire for our programs to be artist-driven. Six of the eight curators are full-time artists. The seventh has his MFA from Yale but now works as a curator. The eighth is trained as a curator but recently ran the Contemporary in Baltimore and now runs United States Artists. 
What are some of this year's highlights?
There are a lot, including Dan Steinhilber's 7'-tall Cheeto, Tara Donovan's slinky-print, a gorgeous little painting by Inka Essenhigh, and a very odd work by Rachel Maclean, who is representing Scotland at this year's Venice Biennale. The photography selections are also particularly strong. There are extraordinary pieces by Gerard Gaskin, Jay Seawell, and others, as well as political prints that capture the feelings of our times.
How can I see the artwork?
You can see all 174 artworks on Paddle8. This year we've traded the public viewing hours for the broader public exposure afforded by this reputable online auction house. Last year we worked with Paddle8 and we had buyers in Portland, OR, Miami and London. We are also distributing advance copies of the catalog to anyone who is interested.
When can I begin bidding?
Right now. If you have an iPhone, you can download the Paddle8 app to begin. If you have an Android, you can bid through Paddle8's website.

Are you using the BUY NOW feature again this year?

Yes, if you see a work you want and can't stomach the possibility of a bidding war, you can purchase it using the BUY NOW option. The BUY NOW price is set at 10% above retail. Last year, we saw a rise in the average sale price as a result of people using this function. That's good for everyone, especially the artists and their galleries.

When does the silent auction end?

During the Auction Gala on Saturday night, April 1, at 10:10 p.m.

What are the highlights of the Gala this year?
Attending the Gala this year is the only way to see the artwork in person, meet the artists and curators, and party with your WPA friends. Additionally, there will be six performances curated by 'sindikit, Pace Gallery artist James Siena will be spinning some of his favorite funk and techno tunes, there will be specialty cocktails (including the "Gold Rush"), the food is delicious, and you can dance to your heart's content. We are offering collectors who are ticket-holders advance private tours of the show on Thursday and Friday, March 30 and 31st. Please contact Nathalie von Veh to make an appointment at nvonveh@wpadc.org, or 202.234.7103 x101.
Where is the event being held?

At the historic Uline Arena complex where the Beatles played their first U.S. show in February 1964. We have 18,000 square feet of space.

How does WPA keep getting such incredible spaces for this event?
Douglas Development and DAVIS Construction made this possible this year. Douglas, which owns the Uline Arena, donated the space outright and DAVIS donated the build-out.
Does the auction include more work by artists living outside of DC this year?
Most of the artists are from DC - or have strong ties to the city because they went to school, taught, exhibited, or lived here at one time. There are also artists showing who are being introduced to the DC community for the first time. We think that is exciting.
How does selling the work of artists who don't live in DC benefit DC artists?
50% of the money from each sale supports WPA's programs, which in turn directly benefit DC artists. Additionally, artists living in DC tell us they want to connect more with artists and curators outside the area and exhibiting longside colleagues from elsewhere is one way to do that. At WPA, we think that a healthy exchange of ideas benefits everyone, including DC artists. It isn't an either/or scenario but rather both/and.
Do artists pay to have their work included? Do they pay to attend the event?
No and no. The artists are the lifeblood of the event and our community. While other benefit auctions require artists to donate their work outright, we don't. We give artists 50% of the proceeds from the sales of their work. They also receive two complimentary tickets.
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March 27, 2017