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Rauschenberg’s work returns for ACT fund-raiser

By Staff | Aug 13, 2009

The death of Robert Rauschenberg still looms over the wildly popular Arts for ACT Auction, an event the legendary artist championed throughout his years as a Lee County resident.
Returning Saturday to the Hyatt Regency in Estero, the Arts for ACT Auction honors the memory of Rauschenberg while looking to the future as supporters raise money for the Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center.
Given the economic downturn, auction organizers said last year’s numbers were decent — approximately $375,000 — but are hoping this year’s totals are higher.
“Last year we could have done better but we were happy,” said organizer Claudia Goode. “We would be happy with that again, but we’d be even happier if we went over $500,000.”
Rauschenberg’s work will be featured as part of this year’s auction, as last year his work was absent while the details of his estate were sorted following his death.
Along with the work of longtime Rauschenberg student and partner Darryl Pottorf, the auction will include works from other renowned artists, both local and international.
“The artwork is terrific this year,” Goode said. “We have a Bob in the auction and Darryl has a beautiful piece, which has Bob’s arm in there, so he’s here in spirit.”
As one of the artists involved with the auction, Cape Coral photographer Carol Orr Hartman’s piece, titled “Waiting for Mardi Gras,” is being used as part of the event’s ad campaign.
The theme of this year auction is “masquerade.”
Hartman said that last year’s auction was akin to a “perfect storm,” as the death of Rauschenberg and the economy converged at once.
“It was definitely somber,” she said. “A lot of people loved Bob and his connections brought in great pieces of art. He had a lot of friends.”
One of Rauschenberg’s good friends is Academy Award-nominated actress Sharon Stone, who will act as co-host of this year’s event.
Returning for her third go-round as emcee, Stone will be joined by Jesse Metcalfe, who stars in the ABC drama “Desperate Housewives.”
Tickets are still available for the event. Prices are $129, and are available in advance or at the door. Doors open at 4 p.m. on the day of the auction.
All proceeds from the event benefit ACT, a Fort Myers based nonprofit organization which treats domestic and sexual violence through counseling and patient advocacy.
For more information, contact the administration center at 939-2553.
To learn more about the work of Hartman, visit: www.cohfoto.com.