Parties: Getting Down to Bidness

by Catherine Bigelow | Photography by Drew Altizer

There is something magical about Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito that elicits a smile — and dedicated support — among its artists and patrons.

Situated in artist-renovated military buildings on the historic Fort Barry campus, this cultural nonprofit is set amid a fog-swept coastal forest in the Marin Headlands. Over the last four decades, more than 1,600 international artists — many who are now represented in museums around the world or are the recipients of major artistic grants — have honed their multidisciplinary skills at Headlands.

To commemorate its 40th anniversary this year, Headlands hosted a 12-day community celebration and preview exhibition at The Store House and Gallery 308 in Fort Mason Center for the Arts prior to its 15th Art Auction and a McCalls dinner on May 31.

Led by auction chairs Jessica Silverman, Evie Simon and Melissa Barber, more than 350 guests bid on only-at-Headlands art experiences and snapped up works by the 65 participating artists, including Sadie Barnette, Kenturah Davis, Mark Dion, Hung Liu, Woody De Othello, Clare Rojas and Barry McGee. At the final hammer-down, Headlands raised $610K for its innovative artistic and community programming — from artists’ conversations, open houses and studio tours to Headlands’ working Victory Garden installation. From that tally, 50 percent of sales were paid to the participating artists.

“As we chart our path forward, we’re striving to center our diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility work and learning in all that we do,” said Headlands executive director Mari Robles, who was appointed in 2020. “As that work continues, our staff and board are implementing goals toward making Headlands a more inclusive space for artists and audiences alike.”

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