When Barrett-Jackson, the granddaddy of car auction roars to life every January, Scottsdale bars, restaurants and hotels hit fifth gear. One of the community’s great special events, it has largely monopolized the notion of “auction” in these parts.
Yet, there are two other auctions taking place elsewhere in Scottsdale that are playing an increasing role to enhance the city’s substantial cache.
To be held soon in the heart of Old Town, the Scottsdale Art Auction conducted by Legacy Gallery, will move some $15 million worth of western art during its auction. It attracts bidders and consignors from around the country and puts an exclamation mark on what may be Scottsdale’s most interesting street these days, Main Street.
And in October the Larsen Art Auction features more contemporary work. Like the auction at Legacy, Larsen’s too is held at its own gallery in Old Town.
During changing times for galleries, as is the case for most retailers, Legacy and Larsen deserve a lot of credit for finding innovative ways, Barrett-Jackson style, to rev up their business. And in so doing they reinforce one of the pillars of Scottsdale’s platform: a distinct arts community that must continue to do all it can to forestall emerging scenes in Phoenix and Tempe. Bigger projects on the horizon like Museum Square that will see the city realize a major return on investment in and around the Museum of West will be a giant step forward. But sometimes it’s the smaller ones, like those fostered by Legacy and Larsen, that are just as important.