Annual auction raises money for fine arts students

Community members, faculty and alumni attended the annual ‘A Taste of the Arts’ auction. They bid on art pieces and other items to support local arts programs. || Beamer Barron/The News

Community members, faculty and alumni attended the annual ‘A Taste of the Arts’ auction. They bid on art pieces and other items to support local arts programs. || Beamer Barron/The News

Students in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts spend countless hours outside of classes rehearsing and perfecting their latest pieces every day.

The college honored these hard-working students at the fourth annual “A Taste of the Arts” Dinner and Auction Thursday. The Office of Development in conjunction with the humanities and fine arts college hosted the event which occurs each year to help raise money for fine arts scholarships.

Tina Bernot, director of development, coordinated the event this year. Her goal with the event was to help students with an interest in the arts be able to get an education.

As a result, Bernot has worked with the college to organize the auction to raise scholarship money.

“One of my goals was to raise scholarship support for the various departments,” Bernot said. “We had this idea four years ago to do this combined special event for music, theater and art to raise money for scholarships.”

In an effort to reach these goals, the event began with a silent auction and a variety of delectable food options. As the evening progressed, performances from music professors, theater and musical theater students as well as Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity and even the Racer Band received warm welcomes from the crowded room.

Tennessee Titans football tickets, passes to a County Music Awards Music Festival rehearsal, a painting by Murray’s own Dick Dougherty, a vacation to a cabin on the east coast, a guitar signed by country singer Blake Shelton and other exquisite items were auctioned off in the live auction that concluded the event.

Bernot collected the items for the auction by reaching out to members of the community for donations.

“We solicit around the community for items for the auction, for live auction items and silent auction items and this year we received $25,000 worth of trips and getaways, art, jewelry, gift certificates and packages to auction off at the event,” Bernot said.

The auction, held in the Murray Room at the CFSB Center, was sold out early this week with 185 registered guests.

This year’s guests included people from the community, alumni and faculty, as well as a handful of locally accomplished artists.

Students entertained the event’s guests with everything from snippets of Christmas tunes to scenes from the upcoming student opera, “The Magic Flute.”

Said Bernot: “We displayed the arts from each of the departments so we had music students, art students and theater students, as well as faculty. (Some of the students) gave mini performances and gave everyone a taste of their talent.”

Story by Dominique Duarte and Maddie Mucci, Staff writers.