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Open Fields School’s Great Goose Egg Auction: An Eggstremely Creative Fundraiser

Oct 05, 2017 04:16PM ● By Linda Ditch

The Open Fields School’s Great Goose Egg Auction is scheduled for this Saturday, October 7. Artists from Caldecott winners and MacArthur Fellows to Open Fields alumni as well as illustrious local artists have painted, drawn, sculpted, and otherwise transformed eggs for the auction over the years, combining fine art and whimsy.

Open Fields School Director Nellie Pennington answered a few questions via email about the fundraiser, using some cleverly altered words:

Q: How many years have you held this auction?

A: The first auction was in 1996; we’ve done them every two years (eggcept that the last one was three years ago because we worked on relocating the auction). If my math is correct, that makes this the 11th auction.

Q: How do you find the artists who make the eggs?

A: Originally, school supporter Trina Schart Hyman sent eggs to her illustrator and artist friends. Some of those folks still create artworks for us for each auction. In the past, artists have occasionally passed their eggs along to friends. We check with our school parents and board of directors for friends or associates who might be interested. Sometimes we just ask artists we really like. And we also get some volunteers who’ve heard about the auction and ask if they can be included. We’ve been eggstremely fortunate to have a number of artists through the years who are very well known in the children’s illustration world. We really appreciate the eggstraordinary effort and generosity of our artist friends!

Q: How many eggs are you auctioning this year?

A: We have 30 in hand at the moment, and we hope to have another half-dozen by auction day. We nearly always have a late entry arriving on the day of the auction.

Q: Do you have plans for the funds raised by the auction?

A: Our fundraising supports our scholarship fund. We work very hard to keep the school affordable for all families who need us.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: This year’s auction will be dedicated to the memory of Ross Whitlock (1986–2016), who was an alumnus of Open Fields, and whose father Dean Whitlock is our auctioneer. Ross was also an artist, a writer, and an all-around good egg who donated a number of works to our egg auctions through the years, and the school community misses him terribly.

The Great Goose Egg Auction will for the first time be held at the Newberry Market on Main Street in White River Junction. This year’s events will feature an Opening Eggshibition during the October First Friday events, from 4:30–8pm on October 6.

The doors will open again on Saturday, October 7 at 11:30am for the 1pm auction. Absentee bids are accepted at the opening or through the school’s website, If you can’t attend but want all the eggcitement of the live auction process, you can sign up for telephone bidding by advance arrangement.

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