Every winter, Flux Factory holds a fundraising benefit resembling a silent auction to raise money for its annual budget. This is a common event in the non-profit art world, where institutions ask artists with whom they have good working relationships to donate original works of art so that patrons can bid on and buy them at frequently lower-than-market value.
This year I gave Flux Factory a blank $100 check and instructions that bidding must begin at $1. Was it art or cheap money? The bidders would decide on the night of the benefit.
The final bid was $141, by friend and colleague Michelle Levy. This was an unexpected outcome: I didn’t expect to know the patron. The project continued as she taunted me with the prospect of cashing the check and I threatened to close the bank account on which the check was drawn.
After months of thoughtful consideration, Michelle cashed the check to make a deposit on a graduate program in digital and interdisciplinary art she will begin in the fall.