Friday, June 26, 2020

Raymond artist raises significant funds for college during live online auction

By Lorraine Glowczak

Holden Willard, a 2017 Windham High School graduate, did it again.

In February 2019, Willard’s painting entitled, ‘Red Portrait’ won best in show in a world-wide competition at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. Since then, he and his artwork – especially his self-portrait - has garnered a lot of attention and praise. Recently, Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, where Willard attends, hosted an “Artrageous” auction to help raise funds for the school, the community, and future students.

Holden Willard's painting called 'Self Portrait' won best in show in
a world-wide competition at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod
and recently was sold during an auction to benefit the
Monserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts where
Willard is studying art. It sold for $2,100. Willard is a resident of
 Raymond and a 2017 graduate of Windham High School.
“Artrageous is the college’s main fundraising event of the year and has become the signature art event on the North Shore,” the college’s website said. “The auction included spectacular works by renowned and emerging artists and designers including our Montserrat community.”

Willard’s artwork began at a bid of $1,300 with the final amount going to the highest bidder of $2,100.

“I wasn’t expecting this portrait to sell as much as it did,” said Willard, whose proud father is Raymond Town Manager, Don Willard (and his wife, proud mother Megan). “I was pleasantly surprised that the bidders were bidding solely on ‘potential future value’. I think that notion was encouraging but it is never about the money for me. I just enjoy painting as a practice and activity, to see some financial compensation is gratifying in a sense.”

Although Willard aspires to make a career as an artist, he is realistic in his approach.

“It must be known when you begin to make work for money, you inadvertently lose authenticity,” he said. “Half the proceeds [from the auction] go right back into the school and into the community surrounding Montserrat – the very same facilities I use. That’s most important in my eyes and the reason why I participated in this auction; whether or not it ever even made money is not important. I make art because I need to. I couldn’t live my life if art wasn’t an integral part of my experience. I just make paintings for myself because of the joy I get out of it. I believe if you work hard, and are genuine with your efforts and support those in your community – only good things will come.”

In addition to the $2,100 from the auction, Willard’s ‘Red Portrait’ has also garnered $500 in the world-wide competition as well as winning first place in another art competition he entered in New York, winning a financial prize of $700. In total – this one piece has accumulated an amount of $3,300.

Not too shabby for a small-town boy from Raymond, Maine.

If you are interested in looking at more artwork of Holden Willard, peruse his Instagram page at holdenwillard. <

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