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Nutcrackers on the Town statues to be displayed and auctioned - August 23 2012

OSHKOSH, Wis. -- The community arts project Nutcrackers on the Town will soon be back on the town with the exhibit and auction of 48 life-size art pieces.

The transformed Nutcrackers will be presented together in one location for the first time at Opera House Square on Friday, September 7th through the early afternoon of Saturday, September 8th. Then, they will move to the Grand Opera House to be auctioned off, raising funds for the arts in Oshkosh.

Artists will join their creations there on Saturday the 8th from noon until 1:00 PM. This "Get to Know the Artist" time will offer a unique opportunity for viewing, photos, autographs, and questions.

On the afternoon of September 8th, the statues will make their way to the stage of the Grand Opera House for the live auction beginning at 7:00 PM. The statues will be sold by two auctioneers from the renowned firm of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers of Chicago, the Midwest's leading fine art auction house.

Forty nutcrackers will be sold during the live auction, and the remaining ones will be sold later in September on eBay.

Tickets for the live auction are $10 and can be purchased through the Grand Opera House box office by calling(920) 424-2350 or online at GrandOperaHouse.org. Absentee bidding for the live auction may be arranged by calling (920) 235-6903, ext. 22. Pictures of the Nutcrackers may be viewed online in a photo gallery on the Nutcrackers on the Town Facebook page.

Auction proceeds will be divided among the Paine Art Center and Gardens, Grand Opera House, and Arts Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, which funds the full spectrum of arts throughout the community.

"Nutcrackers on the Town" was launched with an army of 50 identical nutcracker statues that were displayed on the lawn of the Paine Art Center and Gardens during the holidays of 2010. In the spring of 2011 they were handed over to artists to be transformed into individual works of art. They reappeared in a mesmerizing array of colorful designs and characters for the holidays at the end of last year.

The monumental community arts project is presented by CitizensFirst Credit Union with project partners, the Paine Art Center and Gardens, Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, and Grand Opera House and with sponsorship support from The Oshkosh Northwestern and Bergstrom Automotive. Local businesses, organizations and people funded the transformations of each nutcracker.

Thanks to the imaginations and talents of the artists, all the statues are wildly different from one another. From traditional to extraterrestrial, the nutcrackers took on new identities, forms, positions, colors, lights and movement as well as some incredible additions and even subtractions. Transformations run the gamut of whimsy and fantasy to floral interpretations, patriotic themes and drama, and so much more. All are very creative, and none take themselves too seriously.

The upcoming September display and auction marks the conclusion of this community project that has captured the hearts and imaginations of the public.

The legacy of "Nutcrackers on the Town" will live on in the continued presentation of the visual arts, music and drama in the area, thanks to the many sponsors, artists, and nutcracker buyers.
 

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