Omaha Art Auction Paints a Scene for a Secondary Art Market

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By Rosa Najera, Contributor

It was a night of art for locals on Oct. 3 at the Omaha Art Auction. The event was presented by Gallery 72 and Auction Solutions and powered by Proxibid’s Fine Art Marketplace, The Finest, and was created to inspire a secondary market among Omaha’s art scene.

John Rogers, owner of Gallery 72, said he hopes to attract people that are interested and have an excitement for art.

Rogers said the secondary art market is the selling of previously owned art and it allows art owners to get rid of pieces they are no longer interested in and can sell the items at a lower cost.

“It sells for less than retail,” Rogers said, “a $300 to $400 piece will sell at $150 and that becomes more affordable.”

“The art pieces are being sold for a second or third time and that brings down their prices, but the art is still considered as highly valuable pieces,” Krystal Sidzyik, communications intern at Proxibid, shared.

“A lot of students are on a college budget, but a secondary art market lets students take advantage of lower prices for those that are interested in starting their own art collection,” Sidzyik added.

The art auction was held from 7 – 8:30 p.m. and had a live online auction component, which was provided by Omaha-based Proxibid. This allowed those that didn’t want to leave their home to bid from the comfort of their couch – an online auction also allows art enthusiasts outside of Nebraska to bid as well, Rogers said.

“None of the other galleries have approached secondary art, and everything from Picasso and Rembrandt is secondary art sales,” the art gallery owner said.

Bancroft Street Market venue provided its space for the 72 art pieces that were auctioned off. Katie Stille, art gallery development consultant of Gallery 72, said there was a wide range of artists, including locals.

According to The Finest website powered by Proxibid, some art pieces were sold from $50 to $4,000. “Most of the pieces went to local buyers with the exception of two pieces going out-of-state to Florida and Massachusetts,” Sidzyik said.

“This is a key event and it’s really significant for the art community because you’d have to go to Chicago or Kansas City for secondary art,” Stille said.

Rogers said the art gallery was also preparing for the art showing of new artist Megan McLeary, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate. Gallery 72 will host the exhibit of graphite drawings by McLeary through Oct. 26.

As for the art auction, Rogers said he was pretty confident they would host another secondary art auction as early as in 6 months.

“I have big hopes that Omaha catches on to commercial secondary art markets and it becomes a big event,” Rogers said.

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