Dennis Ziemienski: Excerpt from "Art of auctioneering"
By Lew Freedman
It was ping-pong with $1,000 bids, back and forth volleys, almost faster than the mind could process without a computer, bidders going hard after Dennis Ziemienski’s “Warmth of the Campfire” a 36-inch-by-30-inch oil painting of a white horse with a retail value of two happy young people, horses behind them, basking in the glow of a fire under the stars.
When the rapid-fire increases kept coming, the crowd began roaring, as if rooting a thoroughbred home on the straightaway at the Kentucky Derby.
“$13,000, $14,000, $15,000,” auctioneer Troy Black echoed, his energy transmitting to the players.
“$17,000!” Black said. The Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale crowd, most of them spectators for this painting, yelled again.
It went up again.
There is never a problem selling Ziemienski’s large pieces. A few years ago the museum bought one for itself before it went to auction.
At various points during the annual event Friday night, held in a temporary tent facility on the museum grounds, bidding turned into spectator sport.