Founded in 1974 as an international workshop and forum for ideas, Berkeley’s Kala Art Institute plays a fundamental role in the local arts community; providing facilities to professional artists working in printmaking, digital media, photography, and book arts as well as engaging the public with over 100 classes and workshops, art exhibitions in Kala’s gallery and off-site locations, lectures, artists talks, and an Artists- in-Schools art education. The organization’s annual auction & gala provides direct support to continue of these programs to help artists continue their creative work and assist in their commitment to engage the community through exhibitions, public programs, and education programs.
This year’s auction and gala, KALA40 held April 26 was a grand finale event to the week-long exhibition featuring paintings, photographs, prints, drawings and sculpture donated by a wide variety of talented, local artists. At Kala 40, these artworks, along with art-related items and experiences including a tour of UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus of Modern Art, Peter Selz’s art collection to collection of vintage Robert Mondavi wines were sold by both live and silent auction to benefit the organization. This year also marked the 40th anniversary of the organization’s founding, which was celebrated by a champagne toast led by gala host, author, radio and television personality Narsai David, and a large birthday cake presentation. Preceding the live auction, four local artists were honored with Kala’s Master Artist Award: Emmanuel Montoya, Richard Shaw, Katherine Sherwood and Livia Stein.