Sitka artists spruce up violins for auction

"Fiddle and Drum," a donated violin decorated by Laura Kaltenstein. Photo by Greta Mart.

“Fiddle and Drum,” a donated violin decorated by Laura Kaltenstein. Photo by Greta Mart.

About 200 classical music lovers turned out on Wednesday for another free noon concert presented by the Sitka Summer Music Festival. Festival Artistic Director and cellist Zuill Bailey and the Catalyst Quartet played Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major in Allen Hall’s Odess Theater on the Sitka Fine Arts Campus.

Before rainshowers prompted a change in venue, the concert was be outdoors at the battle site at Sitka National Historic Park, with an accompanying art installation of violins decorated by local artists suspended from tree branches. Instead, the violins were on horizontal display in Allen Hall, inviting attendees to bid on them in a silent auction as a fundraising effort.

Jeff Budd with the Greater Sitka Arts Council explained that Sitka resident Cynthia Gibson started a tradition of installing artwork at of the Festival’s outdoor concerts, and this year the theme was music in the trees.

When the violins are not on display at Festival concerts, they are hanging and up for auction at Island Artists Gallery and Old Harbor Books. Bidding will close on June 30, and proceeds will benefit both the Arts Council and the Sitka Summer Music Festival.

"No Time For Violins (Violence)," created by Suzan Brawlyn. Photo by Greta Mart.

“No Time For Violins (Violence),” created by Suzan Brawlyn. Photo by Greta Mart.


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