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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

“What is It Worth?” Experts to visit URI for arts roadshow-style event, May 31

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Main Gallery, Fine Arts Center Galleries, University of Rhode Island, Kingston
May 31st, 10 am – 3 pm

A public fundraising event for the Fine Arts Center Galleries
that answers the question, “What would it bring at auction?”

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 28, 2008 -- Bring in your paintings and works on paper for expert consultation on what your cherished objects would bring at auction. This Saturday event is held indoors and includes ample parking adjacent to the building. Modest appraisal fees apply to these verbal appraisals, and up to 3 objects by each participant may be examined.

Experts from the well known Auctioneers and Appraisers of Antiques and Fine Arts, Skinner, Inc. – associated with the popular antique series of PBS – will be present at the University of Rhode Island to help owners understand the value of their art. The well-known firm of Skinner has offices on Park Plaza, Boston and Main Street in Bolton, Massachusetts. This special fundraiser for the Fine Arts Center Galleries will take place in the Main Gallery of the Fine Arts Center, and its adjoining lobby.

As the house describes itself, Skinner holds four American & European Paintings & Prints auctions annually, and sales regularly include works from the 16th –20th century. Skinner’s painting sales attract buyers from around the world and auctions consistently achieve world record prices. Most notable was Skinner’s November 2004 sale of a previously undiscovered Fitz Hugh Lane painting, entitled Manchester Harbor, that sold for a record $5.5 million.

Appraising for the May 31 event will be Colleene Fesko, Vice President, Skinner, Inc., and Director of American & European Paintings & Prints. Her particular area of specialization is “turn of the century” (late 19th and early 20th century) American art. Ms. Fesko is responsible for four major auctions per year, overseeing sales that include American and European paintings, prints, works on paper and sculpture from the 16th-21st centuries. Prior to joining the auction house some ten years ago, Fesko, a Bucknell graduate, was a member of the appraisal staff at Childs Gallery in Boston for several years, and has also worked for Vesti Corporation, a fine arts consulting firm. She is a former art history professor and a frequent writer who also lectures widely and is a familiar face on the PBS series the Antiques Roadshow. Colleene is also a member of Art Table, a professional organization of women in the arts, and has been a featured guest on NPR's “Talk of the Nation.”

Robin Starr will be the second appraiser. She originally joined Skinner in September of 1987 as a specialist in the American and European Paintings and Prints Department. Starr has expanded her responsibilities and as a member of the Paintings and Prints Department, Starr appraises for institutions, estates, and private owners, both on site and in the gallery. She has taught art history at various colleges throughout New England and is currently a Lecturer in Art History at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Starr received her M.A. in the History of Art, specializing in early medieval art, from Williams College. As an undergraduate at Bates College, Starr combined an unusual double major in Art History and Physics through research in neutron activation autoradiography and its application in art historical research.

Happening throughout the Appraisal day

Throughout the day an assortment of catered foods - pastries, salads and other seasonal delicacies - will be available for donation by fundraiser participants as they await their turn for appraisal.

A Silent Auction comprised of a variety of arts and antique lots donated by local businesses also will be available for bid to support continuation of the Galleries’ successful programs at URI.

Finally, Guided Walking Tours through Watson House, the historic farmhouse on its original site of the campus, will be offered this day.