The Go Fish! Project

The Event
There were trawlers, anglers and mongers angling for fish, food and fun at the Go Fish! Market Auction. On October 20, party-goers got creative with netting, hats, rods and fish tail gowns. At Any Event, a new business established by artist Greg Leach and partner Tom Hammond, transformed the exterior and interior of Tredegar into a waterfront fish market. This included a fish juggler, a saxophone player, weathered wood decking and real oyster shells ... and that was just for the entrance! Inside was a moored crab boat for registration and several shacks for snacks.
The patron tables were festooned with sea shells, grasses and sand pails and topped with a fish sculpture. Tuffy Stone, 1708 Board member and chef/owner of A Sharper Palate , catered for the 400+ attendees with sushi, roasted oysters, salmon gravlax, and spicy tuna tarare.
Auctioneers David and Linda Staples, whose services were donated by Tranzon Fox, took their place atop a floating raft and called for bids in front of the screen that displayed each fish as it was offered.
The Go Fish! Market Auction, the grand finale of the hugely successful Go Fish! project, met its intended goal: to be a fundraising event for 1708 Gallery and other local charitable organizations. Along the way it exceeded expectations to become a night that Richmonders will celebrate for years to come.

The Benefit
Whether we're in a Bull or Bear Market, last month's Fish Market was the place to see investments pay off. Maureen Neal, Chair of the Go Fish! Market Auction, told us that one area non-profit, "St. Joseph's Villa made a $500 investment in a fish and auctioned it for $5,200! That's a pretty good rate of return for three months!"
121 fish sculptures were sold to benefit 1708 Gallery and 70 other non-profit organizations in the area. In addition to the Tredegar event, the 48 fish that were auctioned on the Internet were exhibited at the Shoppes at Willow Lawn during October.

Auction results:
The five highest live auction bids
"Fish de Verre" by Jude Scholtzhauer ($6,500) for 1708 Gallery
"Ballerina Rock" by Ryan Marsh ($5,000) for the Richmond Ballet
"Jumping Rockfish" by John M. Barber ($4,500) for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation
"Matisse Fish" by Pam Shelor ($4,200) for Rudlin Torah Academy
"One Bodacious Bass" by Carolyn Whelan ($4,000) for Stop Child Abuse Virginia
The highest on-line bid
"Quilted River Fish" by Kirsten Kindler ($5,550) for 1708 Gallery

Total raised:
  $ 310,000 grossed
  $ 154,000 for 73 fish at the live auction
  $   81,000 for 48 fish sold online
  $ 168,000 to other non-profits
  $   75,000 to establish an endowment for 1708 Gallery
  $   50,000 (minimum*) to fish artists

*amounts for 101 artists of non-profit fish are not included
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