Farm to School benefit: Silent art auction to feature original Dali print, work by local artists

Salvador Dali Print
The limited edition print of Dali’s “The Second Cornice” woodblock illustration has a minimum starting bid of $2,000.

Farm to School Benefit and Silent Art Auction

The Wedge downtown — March 21 at 6 p.m. (Free)

The Wedge (136 S Dubuque St.) will play host this month to a silent art auction and raffle to benefit Field to Family’s Farm to School project. Half of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to the project, which works to teach students about the importance of local food systems by planting gardens at area elementary and high schools, while the other half will go back to the artists contributing to the auction, many of whom are students.

In addition to work submitted by local artists, the group will be auctioning off an original print by Salvador Dalí: “The Second Cornice” woodblock illustration from his Divine Comedy series. The image is signed with Dalí’s cartouche and is considered a rare limited edition. Valentin Potra, current owner of the Dalí print, has been working closely with Field to Family’s new president, David Burt, to create the event.

In addition to a real-life Dali, an array of student work and the chance to enjoy (while supporting!) local, organic food, if weather permits, organizers say there might be a dance or music performance on the Ped Mall outside the restaurant.

The Wedge may seem an unlikely venue for an art auction that features a piece by Dalí, but the groundwork was laid when Burt offered his recipe for Coconut Corn Soup (a favorite menu item from the now-closed Red Avocado, where Burt was a co-owner and chef) to his friend, Wedge owner Steve Harding. After considering their options and talking to Potra, they decided to re-debut the soup at an art auction that, through Farm to School, would benefit local elementary and high schools.

“There’s just such potential in Iowa City for getting artists together,” Potra said. “Whether it’s food and culinary art, whether it’s painting or music and dance. For me, it’s all art, so let’s put it all together.”

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