'Himalaya Face'

“Himalaya Face,” an 18-foot-by-18-foot photo by Ridgway’s Kane Scheidegger is up for grabs as part of Ah Haa’s online auction, which ends this weekend. (Courtesy image)

The annual Ah Haa Art Auction fundraiser is one of the summer’s most popular events, but it’s a little different this year. In adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school has been hosting an online auction, which ends Saturday at noon. On Friday at 7:30 p.m., however, there will be a live virtual auction.

Earlier this week, there were 303 people bidding on the auction’s 273 items, including a hike with actress Hilary Swank, which was recently added. Kathleen Cole, the school’s manager of marketing and events, expects more bidders this weekend in thanking everyone for their support during such a trying year, including sponsors Alpine Bank and Slate Gray Gallery

“We really want to say thank you to our whole community for getting involved, whether they donated artwork, gift certificates, or products or goods. We’re so thankful that everybody was a part of that,” she said. “Difficult times call for creative measures. It’s our biggest fundraiser during normal times, but definitely this year, as we had to cancel all of our camps and adult visiting artist classes.”

The school has been offering private and Zoom classes, as well as to-go kits, which have been “hugely popular,” Cole said.

The theme of this year’s auction is “Art Heals.” As the school is preparing to move into its new building on Pacific Avenue, Cole wants everyone to know Ah Haa is still here for everyone.

“We’re just excited to continue the creativity and moving into the new building, and being here for the community when things do get back to normal,” Cole said.

For more information about the auction, visit ahhaa.org. Below are descriptions of some of the more popular items this year.

‘HIMALAYA FACE’

The 18-foot-by-18-foot photo by Ridgway’s Kane Scheidegger is valued at $2,600. An incredible field of view of Ophir’s upper waterfall canyon. Looking at the Himalaya Face on the northeast side of Yellow Mountain. The Himalayan Face has never been skied until May 2019 after an incredible winter of large snow totals and an epic avalanche cycle in March. This photo taken May 24, 2019, is when Devin Overton decided its now or never to nail a first descent on this intimidating face.

“A 3 a.m. start and I got to this vantage just after sunrise to see Devin making the final ascent to the peak. After a quick break to catch his breath and focus on the descent, Devin rode this rollercoaster of a line and aired out the bottom cliff with some hollers that echoed through the basin,”  Scheidegger said. “A day I won’t soon forget for this larger than life panoramic image printed at its full.”

HIKE WITH HILARY SWANK

Curious about what life is like as a two-time Oscar-winning actress and film producer? Bid on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend an afternoon with the incredible Hilary Swank (“Boys Don’t Cry,” “Million Dollar Baby”) during a special one-on-one hike with her in Telluride. Hike is subject to COVID-19 safety protocols and availability.

AUTOGRAPHED DIERKS BENTLEY GUITAR

Grammy-nominated, American country music singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley has written and recorded eight No. 1 singles. His instantly recognizable voice and acoustic-electric hybrid sound have propelled him to membership in the Grand Ole Opry, and a performance for the president at the White House in 2011. Dierks has a special place in his heart for both Telluride and the Ah Haa School for the Arts, where his kids take classes. This Dierks Bentley-signed Epiphone acoustic guitar makes a priceless possession for any music fan.

FOURTH OF JULY ROOFTOP PARTY

Party like your independence depends on it! Ah Haa’s indoor-outdoor rooftop deck in the new Silver Jack Building provides a fabulous gathering space complete with unobstructed firework viewing to bring your 2021 July 4th celebration to the next level. This unique downtown event rental can accommodate up to 50 people. Food and beverages are not included.

RAD SAKURA ELECTRIC BIKE

Valued at $2,000, this RadRunner 1 Electric Utility Bike with original cherry blossom and koi designs will transform the way you get around town. It has an easily adjustable seat, fat tires, sturdy, aluminum frame and single-speed drive train. With a load capacity of 300 pounds, the bike easily accommodates a young or adult passenger on an extended rear deck. And the bike has been made uniquely yours, with the custom designed cherry blossom and koi design adorning the frame. With a total of 330 Rad accessory combinations, the customization possibilities are endless.