In 2009, the Town of Saugerties got on the bandwagon of creating a townwide charity fundraising event in which artists decorate identical sculptural templates that commemorate some local icon or other. The finished artworks are displayed on the sidewalks, parks and storefronts all summer, then auctioned off for a good cause when autumn comes.
Celebrating its connections with Horseshows in the Sun and the vintage carousel formerly housed downtown, the first two years of the art fundraiser featured “Hors’n around Saugerties.” Besides equine connections, Saugerties also can boast a splendid old lighthouse, so “Shine on Saugerties” brought wooden lighthouses to the streets in 2011. But why stick to the same theme every year? Nowadays Sawyer Motors, already known for its massive annual vintage car show downtown, has become a primary sponsor of the event. So this year’s street-art extravaganza, rechristened “Cruisin’ around Saugerties,” features a bumper crop of metal pedal-car bodies, customized every which way imaginable, from hotrods and emergency vehicles to a spaceship and a dragon.
Bidding for the artworks – 38 in all – is being conducted online at www.auctionzip.com/auction-catalog/catalog_9KUK76BFDF, with minimum bids at $350 and a deadline of this Saturday evening, September 19. That’s when the Saugerties Performing Arts Festival, located at 169 Ulster Avenue, will host the actual auction as part of the Cruisin’ around Saugerties Gala. Though not quite on the scale of the Sawyer Motors Car Show that takes place every July, a Pre-Gala Car Show will be on display from 2 to 5 p.m. this Saturday.
The actual Gala will begin with a wine-and-appetizers reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and the auction will commence at 6:30. There will be live music during the Car Show and reception. Admission to the Gala costs $25, and auction proceeds will be divided among the participating artists, the Saugerties Chamber of Commerce and the Patriot Project Veterans’ Home. For more info about Cruisin’ around Saugerties, call (800) 957-0124 or visit www.hvcruise.com.