The auction of the sail boats that have graced village streets all summer contained a Cinderella story. Titled “Sailin Around Saugerties,” the annual auction held Saturday, September 14 at the Saugerties Performing Arts Factory raised money this year for the Saugerties Animal Shelter.
Ten-year-old Sophia Barnett’s lemonade stand, savings and sale of her crafts brought in $325. She had her heart set on “Princess Pride of the Hudson,” painted by Amy Stypulkowski, and, she said, she hoped no one would bid more than that.
Then came Barnet’s fairytale wizard — auctioneer Bob Siracusano. He told Amy she could bid on the picture, and he would outbid her and pay for it. What emerged was a bidding contest between the two. The picture sold for $3050. Siracusano bought several additional boats in the course of the auction. Runner up was “Steel Magnolias” by Lillian Johnson at $2100.
While most of the artists chose to paint the boats as constructed, there were a few outliers. For instance Cody Bisignano’s “The Boat Book” was built on a shortened keel with no sails and two figures sitting in it, one rowing and the other holding a book. Gus Pedersen’s “Maritime Memories, set in a large rectangular frame, bore very little resemblance to the model. The boat sold for $1000.
Most of the winning bids were in the low hundreds of dollars, with bidding started at $100, $200 or $300, and some models went for the initial bid or only a little more. Then there were a few in the $600 to $300, with a couple at $1000 or more.
Some humorous bits, used to bring out higher bids included bringing the artists out onto the floor to sit with the boat as the bids came in. For Jordan Sasso, sitting with her father in front of her boat, “Sunbeam,” the bidding reached $700.
Students from the high school Key Club helped out with moving the models out to the bidding floor. A first for the street art auction was the raffling of small boats built by Mark Danza and Aidan Jurofsic and painted by youngsters in the Cantine Summer Camp.
As the auction closed down, Siracusano acknowledged he was tired after the long night’s auctioneering, but he said the event was the best ever auction. “I think it was the best turnout we ever had, I think that everybody stayed to the end, I think everybody had a good time and I must say we raised a good deal of money for the Saugerties Animal Shelter.”