ArtBeat – The Auctions Are Coming!

By Ed Goldman


PBS-KVIE’s annual art auction is held on-air (indoors) rather than plenair (outdoors). This removes one of the potential hazards of holding an auction in Sacramento in, say, August, when the lethal combo of sponsor-donated wine and 100-degree weather can lead to heat-stroke fidgeting that could be interpreted as a bid:

AUCTIONEER: And the painting goes to the man clutching his throat and waving his arms!

MAN’S WIFE: He’s not bidding. Is there a myocardial infarction expert in the house?

While the PBS auction doesn’t happen until September 29th, 30th and October 1st, that sound you hear may be artists (possibly you) scrambling to get their entries ready by May 31 (the station’s call-for-artwork began April 1).

Remember, if you plan to bid, don’t TiVo the coverage. True, in the past couple years many of the segments have been taped, thanks to COVID protocols—I know this because I’ve been an on-air commentator a number of times. But the actual auction—as well as the on-set squeals of delight from the volunteer phone bank when the numbers start piling up—happens in real time. 

Meanwhile, the submission deadline for the annual Crocker Art Auction may have come and gone but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be writing the event dates on your wall. (Use erasable markers so you can update it next year.) There’s a preview party on Thursday, May 18; the auction is Saturday, June 3. To buy tickets or tables, many of which come with chairs, go to or call 916.808.7843.

If this is your first auction as a bidder, here’s a quick Q&A with D Oldham Neath. She co-founded Sacramento’s famous Second Saturday in 1992, is the owner of Archival Gallery and Framing in East Sacramento, CBS-TV’s Art Lady (whose website you’re currently in) and a longtime host of the KVIE auction. She also has an extensive art collection of her own.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake new and even experienced bidders make at auctions?

D: They fail to research the artist they bid on and end up overpaying- good for the charity bad for a healthy collection. 

Q: If there’s a piece of art you feel you just have to have, is there a foolproof strategy for getting it?

D: Never “pre-bid” on a piece. You’re only driving the price up. Bid a reasonable price at the last minute—and if it’s “live,” wait for the first “going” (as in “going, going, gone”).

Q: What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you emceeing the KVIE Art Auction? 

D: Once I got locked outside during the live auction which I was hosting on-air (smoking is really a bad habit, kids). Fortunately, I was rescued by a security guard after a half-hour of my pounding on every door I could find.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s