MISSOULA – The Missoula Art Museum’s (MAM) core exhibits and programs are made possible by the annual auction benefiting art.

Now, for the 50th year, over 80 pieces are on display for purchase.

“The first benefit art auction was held in 1972 before the Missoula Museum of Art even opened,” Carey Powers, MAM’s marketing and communications coordinator, told MTN News.

MTN News

Since the museum’s inception, the annual auction has helped keep the doors open for the local art hub.

“We wouldn’t be here today without the art auction,” Powers said.

After an entirely virtual exhibition last year, paintings, photographs and sculptures are on display – some of which have already sold thanks to a Online “Buy it now” function.

“We needed time for the public to come and find their favorite work and for the artists to come and see their work hanging on the walls,” Powers explained.

Well-known artists like Mount Dolackand early career artists are exhibited at the museum.

Mickey Haldi is a first-time art bidder at the auction.

Mickey Haldi painting once sold at Missoula Museum of Art auction

MTN News

“I said a statement, and then the way I painted it was, releasing the emotions I felt about it,” Haldi said of their previously sold artwork.

Haldi, a recent graduate from the University of Montana, is focused on getting his work out to the public.

Haldi’s work can be described as abstract and exploratory.

Missoula artist Mickey Haldi showcases his painting style

MTN News

“Every painting I do looks completely different from the last painting I did,” Haldi said.

The success story leaves behind questions for the artist.

“I want to know who wanted it and I want to know why they want it. Like, how did they feel about it?”

Mickey Haldi

Viewing the art, an intangible experience in itself, helps potential buyers connect with the work for whatever reason.

The Buy-It-No feature ends this Friday morning and the silent auction for the remaining pieces begins this Friday at noon.

The live auction will take place virtually on February 5 at 6 p.m. and a special selection of artwork will only be available for purchase during this time.

To view the items, Click here.

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