Around 250 students, photographers, art collectors, curators and local residents turned out to view more than 225 photographic pieces on display at both the Fuller Building at 808 Commonwealth Ave. and Boston University’s Photographic Resource Center on Thursday.
The event served as a preview exhibition for an auction of the works of numerous artists including John Goodman, John O’Reilly, Laura McPhee, Olivia Parker and Jerry Uelsmann. Designed to appeal to a wide audience of buyers, the PRC displayed works priced anywhere from $50 to $5,000.
The live auction of the works will begin Friday, Nov. 7 and raise funds for the PRC, a non-profit organization whose website says its mission is ‘to be a vital international voice in understanding the past and shaping the future of photography.’
While some artists request a small commission on their pieces, which average out to about 20 percent, others chose to donate their work. According to PRC curator Leslie Brown, the organization’s last biannual auction raised a total of about $90,000 an amount they hope to match this year and use toward a number of PRC youth programs, lectures and workshops.
As photographer Mark Eshbaugh perused the works of his fellow artists, visitors stopped to view his untitled piece, an example of the split negative technique he has been working to master for the past eight years.
Eshbaugh, who graduated with an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, said he now teaches a number of classes at his alma mater, including one featuring alternative photo processing techniques. Though his work has been displayed in previous exhibitions, the upcoming auction is Eshbaugh’s first with the PRC.
Eshbaugh’s 9.75- by 11.75-inch toned gelatin silverprint, which he said was taken in Carlisle, is an example of the work that will be on display at a free admission in the gallery until Nov. 2. The photograph was taken using a camera he built that can use multiple rolls of film simultaneously.
The auction will include 42 live auctions and about 180 silent auctions. The live auction pieces can be purchased at the Nov. 7 event, during which attendees will have the opportunity to bid head-to-head on specific pieces with an entrance fee of $35.
For this event, the PRC will be working with auction house Skinner, a group whose auctioneers often appear on the popular PBS television series ‘Antiques Roadshow.’
Works included in the silent auction can be purchased online.
Attendee Shannon Moffitt, a second year student at the New England School of Photography, said the event was about ‘being inspired and seeing what great ideas are out there.’
Katherine Moxhet, of Dorchester, said the event was the first of its kind she had attended and described it as ‘fantastic,’ while saying the works showcased a ‘good variety [of] inspirational work.’
Brown said she wants students to visit and view the pieces currently on display, and to use the exhibition as a ‘teaching tool.’ Information about PRC hours and upcoming events can be obtained through the PRC website.