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Local Stories by Local People
updated: Aug 20, 2007, 12:00 AM

Steelhead Art Auction Catches Funds for CEC
by David Pritchett, news correspondent who forgot his chequebook

Most of the Steelhead Trout sculptures that were displayed along State Street for 7 weeks found their permanent pools through a fundraiser auction held Friday night (17Aug.2007) at the Watershed Resource Center at Arroyo Burro Beach. To mark the end of the fishing season for the second annual Santa Barbara Steelhead Festival, Community Environmental Council auctioned 5 of the original 8 Steelhead Trout sculptures that were painted and/or adorned by local artists as part of a public art project. This display from late May to early July featured the 6-foot fish sculptures mounted on poles along lower State Street.

See Event Pictures Here

The auction with 40 participants and observers was held on a beautiful, ash-free evening, with some heady cheeses served with raspberry-sweet vodka trout-tinis shaken expertly by Maya Feldman. The 5 sculptures up for auction were the ones without the full sponsors who already paid their $2500 so the fish would swim home with them on the first date earlier in July. Photos are posted of the auction event and the beautiful people trouted-out there.

With a minimum bid of $2500, a total of $13,400 was raised, with the sculptures entitled The Data Fish ($3000) and A Fish Named Sue ($2900) attracting some friendly competitive bidding that boosted the final sales price.

Sue almost was won by The Brewhouse for display in their tavern, but that extra $200 must have been too many unsold pitchers of porter for them to secure Sue for their West Beach area brewpub. Susan Shank, bidder no. 104, instead netted A Fish Named Sue for $2900.

The double hook of the night was the local Hutton Foundation, represented by Executive Director Pam Hamlin, who caught the sculptures Bulwark, adorned with a mail weaving of copper, and The Data Fish, affixed with shiny cuttings from junk compact disks (CDs). Bulwark will be on display at the Hutton building at 1528 Chapala St., while The Data Fish will form a small school with Determined Journey, another reflective fish (colored glass) spawned during the Steelhead Festival last year. Data and Determined will be on permanent display in the habitat at 26 West Anapamu St., downtown Santa Barbara.

Mara and Ken Holland landed the sculpture Integral Beauty, while Doug Hayes lured in Celebrating Steelhead, each for $2500 at auction.

The public unveiling of the 8 Steelhead Trout sculptures happened at Stearns Wharf and was reported in an an Edhat article that also included links to videos of the event.


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