Easthampton Bear Fest Auction: A Success!

Posted September 28th, 2012

Bear Fest AuctionThe 2012 Bear Fest Gala and Auction took place on the evening of Thursday, September 20th at the Log Cabin and was a huge success. Guests donned their finest and were treated to a night filled with food, fun, and excitement. The Easthampton City Arts+ Committee is proud to announce that over $50,000 was raised. Proceeds from the auction go towards arts education, artists, and ECA+.

During the Bear Fest Auction paddles flew, good spirited competitive bidding was had, and bears were won. Winning the highest bid was artist Crystal Popko’s Luminous Bear, sold for $4,150. Popko’s work continues to be popular — her bear won the highest bid in the 2009 Bear Fest Auction. Other notable winning bids were Wade Clement’s Beehive Beardo going for $3,000, Amalia FourHawks won for $2,900, and Victoria Chapman’s Spirit Bear sold for $2,751.

The silent bidding of the 18-inch table top bears, decorated by students in Easthampton, Southampton, and Westhampton, continued after the live auction. Top selling baby bears were A-mazing Bear by Christianna Gardner of Easthampton High School and Bumble Bear by Cole Crouch of White Brook Middle School, both going for $500 or more. The total funds raised by the table top bears will go back to the public school art programs of Easthampton, Southampton, and Westhampton.

Easthampton City Arts+ and the Bear Fest committee would like to thank the Greater Easthampton Community and beyond for their unwavering support of Bear Fest , beginning with the Unveiling in June to the Auction in September. The 2012 Easthampton Bear Fest was made possible by generous sponsors, talented artists, dedicated volunteers, and tremendous community support.

Awarded funds from the Bear Fest Auction will be announced during the ECA+ annual Light Up the Arts Holiday Bash on December 6th, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Historic Town Hall located at 43 Main Street, Easthampton, MA. This event is open to the public and the community is invited to attend.

Image by Pat Brough


The 2012 Bear Fest Live Auction Winning Bids

A Bear in Sheep’s Clothing $900
Artie Bear $375
Bear Crossing $750
Bear HeART $575
Bear in Landscape $575
Bearing the Fruits of the Harvest $2,900
Bearly Giggling  $375
Beehive Beardo  $3,000
Birch Bear $800
Clown Bear $450
Dia Del Oso Muerto $775
From Ribbons to Thorns  $1,525
Fun & Games Bear $600
Gilda Bear $550
Go Figure! $600
Klimt Bear $550
Luminous Bear $4,150
Michelangelo’s Long Lost Captive Bear $600
Old School Biker Bear $375
Paisley Bear $400
Patches $616
Pete $675
Pieces and Patches $525
Rainbow Spot $500
Re-Pete $600
Respect Your Mother $1,025
Shakesbear $500
Spirit Bear $2,751
SteamPunk Bear $700
Steel Clad Bear $975
Stuart Bear $1,000
Sunny Bear’s Picnic $400
The 41st Bear $800
The Artist $800
The Bear Truth $775
Ursa Major $675
Viva Easthampton! $700
Whimsey Wilbear $700
Winter’s Lament  $600

You are invited to the Bear Fest Live Auction & Gala

Posted September 16th, 2012

Easthampton City Arts+ will hold its Bear Fest Live Auction and Gala on Sept. 20 at the Log Cabin restaurant, where 15 full size and 26 cubs will be on view from 6 to 8 p.m. The live auction is set to begin at 8 p.m.

Fifty-two Table Top Bears creatively transformed by students will also be on view at the event, but they will find their new homes through a silent auction, also to be held that evening.

Tickets for the event are $65 or $100 for those who wish to be event sponsors; sponsor’s names will appear in the auction program. The ticket price includes hors d’oeuvres and dinner.

“This will be the festive occasion that we have been working towards all summer. Finding new homes for these one-of-a-kind artist-created sculptures that have graced our streets and businesses will be a new beginning for the works of art. We hope to surpass the 2009 auction and give ample funds to schools and artists,” said ECA+ coordinator Burns Maxey, who is overseeing the largely volunteer-based fundraiser.

Tickets will be available at the door.

The Easthampton Bear Fest is a public art project in which life-size fiberglass bears are creatively transformed by locally- and nationally-known artists. The 2012 bears have been on view in Easthampton, attracting visitors with cameras, since June.

The 2009 Easthampton Bear Fest also brought thousands of visitors to Easthampton and raised over $60,000 for artists, art education and art organizations.

Ready to LOL?

Posted September 6th, 2012

Lynn HrabaBearly Giggling will have you belly laughing in no time!  Covered head to paw in silly bear jokes, this bear is sure to brighten even the gloomiest of days.  Colors and silliness were artist Lynn Hraba’s inspiration for her bear and boy do they show.  Hurry to see Bearly Giggling in front of Our Lady of the Valley Child Care Center at 35 Pleasant Street before she heads off to the 2012 Easthampton Bear Fest Auction and Dinner.

Learn more about Lynn Hraba’s process and inspiration in the Q & A below:


Lynn M.  Hraba

What town/city do you live in?

West Springfield

Where is your studio? What is your usual artistic focus/genre, when you aren’t working on a bear?

My home is my “studio.”   I work with pen and ink / fine line markers when not involved with a fiberglass bear!

What was the process you used on the bear?

I used acrylic paints for the bear.   It was important for the bear to be “young people (in age and heart) friendly,” so there are a few bear jokes painted on the body.

What materials did you use and why did you choose them?

…only paint…

What is the theme for your bear and what was the inspiration?

The theme is beautiful colors and silliness!

What have you loved about the project?

I loved watching this cold fiberglass shape turn into a character with personality!

In what ways do you hope your bear will move the folks who view it?

…with giggles and maybe a few groans…bear jokes tend to be a little goofy.

What else would you like to say about your project or the Bear Fest as a whole?

I am so happy to be a small part of this project…I have enjoyed getting to know the Easthampton community.

Bear Romp Leads Art to Auction

Posted September 2nd, 2012

Easthampton City Arts+ presents the Parade of the Bears for a final view of the 2012 Easthampton Bear Fest sculptures on September 8, 2012, 5:30-7:00 p.m. during Art Walk Easthampton.

Visitors, artists, and community members will kick-off the final days of the Bear Fest with a celebratory viewing of the artists-created bear sculptures seen throughout the city. The sidewalk parade will commence with the Expandable Brass Brand leading the group at 5:30 p.m. at The Old Town Hall, 43 Main Street in Easthampton. This will be the last chance for bear lovers to see the 92 bear sculptures on view throughout the streets of Easthampton and in businesses throughout Easthampton, Westhampton, and Southampton.

Visitors will also be able to pick up Bear Fest t-shirts, miniaturized paint-your-own Bear sculptures, posters and additional Bear Fest memorabilia to commemorate the 2012 Bear Fest.

The Bear sculptures will thereafter be removed from their logs and prepared for the Bear Fest Gala and Live Auction on September 20th at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Tickets for the Gala and Auction may be purchased online here or at the ECA+ Gallery, 43 Main Street, Easthampton, MA for $65 per ticket.


Posted September 1st, 2012

The Amherst Jazz Orchestra, featuring four-time Grammy-nominated singer Karrin Allyson, will perform September 14 at 7 p.m. at White Brook Middle School.

The event, which will also feature the Easthampton High School Band, is sponsored by the Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce, the Easthampton Cultural Council and Easthampton Bear Fest 2012.

Allyson has released a dozen albums on Concord Jazz over the course of two decades and has been nominated three times for a Grammy in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category. She believes that the emotional connection that takes place in a small, quiet club during the late hours is one of the best parts of the jazz experience.

Tickets are $15. Purchase tickets.