Arts & Leisure

Chipman Inn holds silent auction to raise funds

THESE ARE SOME of the many items that will be part of the silent auction at the Chipman Inn on March 17. The Ripton inn is selling items to raise funds for necessary renovations to the historic property.

SOME OF THE many items that will be part of the silent auction at the Chipman Inn on March 17.

Ripton’s Chipman Inn will be hosting a silent auction on Sunday, March 17, from 1-3 p.m. that is “exclusive” but “extends to everyone interested in participating in the auction,” said Elizabeth Guilbeau, the new owner of the inn as of this past summer.

The silent auction will feature a diverse array of items, from high-value artworks to charming pieces accessible for pocket change.

Guilbeau elaborated on what folks can expect from this unique fundraiser. 

Why are you holding this auction?

Our decision to host the auction came to light following a surprising discovery of dry rot in the inn’s soffit, uncovered shortly after we took ownership. This find, during what was initially thought to be a routine paint job, was a clear signal that parts of our beloved inn had suffered from years of “deferred maintenance.” Our trusted contractor underlined the immediate need for comprehensive repairs to safeguard the inn’s future. The auction is our creative solution to fund these critical restorations, ensuring we care for the inn’s structure while planning for its long-term prosperity.

What will the funds be used for?

Proceeds from the auction are dedicated to essential repairs and renovations that will uphold the inn’s structural integrity. Our commitment is to address the pressing needs of this historic building promptly, ensuring it not only celebrates its bicentennial with grace but also continues to serve as a pillar of the Ripton community for generations to come.

What are some of the most interesting pieces folks will have the opportunity to bid on?

Among the highlights of the auction are four winter scenes by Yngve Edward Soderberg, a celebrated artist with familial ties to Addison County. While Soderberg himself does not have direct connections to the area, his exquisite original signed sketches are a significant part of our collection we’ve chosen to offer. In addition, we’ll feature beautifully framed prints for a range of budgets, including works by Edward Hopper, colonial political cartoons, and pieces by Monet and Van Gogh. Sports enthusiasts will be intrigued by a framed photo of Ray Fisher, a Middlebury College alum and World Series winner, complete with his autograph and baseball card. We’re also proud to auction artwork by Svitlana Osetska, a talented artist and Ukrainian refugee residing at the inn, with all proceeds from her work going directly to her as a token of our appreciation for her contributions to Chipman Inn.

THE RIPTON INN is selling items to raise funds for necessary renovations to the historic property.

In addition to these treasures, we are in talks with several local artists who have expressed interest in contributing their work to the auction. While we are still finalizing the details, we anticipate revealing these unique pieces closer to the event date. This collaboration highlights the spirit of our community and the shared commitment to preserving the cultural and historical fabric of Ripton.

Can you elaborate about the youth activities, etc., that will be happening during the event?

ONE OF THE many items that will be part of the silent auction at the Chipman Inn on March 17.

Inspired by a conversation with my 10-year-old, who expressed disappointment in “art sales” that focus solely on purchasing art rather than creating it, we’ve decided to include a children’s art-making activity during the auction. We often invite our younger guests to contribute artwork to the inn, and with many pieces being sold on March 17, we’re excited to see what new creations local children will offer. This initiative reflects our commitment to making the Chipman Inn a family-friendly destination that celebrates creativity and community involvement.

How is this fundraiser unique?

This auction transcends the traditional fundraising event; it’s a reflection of our community’s resilience and resourcefulness. Participants are not only acquiring beautiful pieces of art but are also playing a crucial role in preserving a piece of Ripton’s history. We envision the Chipman Inn as a beacon of hospitality, culture, and community engagement for many years to come. This auction marks a significant step toward realizing that vision.

We warmly invite everyone to join us in this endeavor, whether by participating in the auction, spreading the word, or simply sharing in our excitement for what lies ahead. Together, we can ensure the Chipman Inn remains a beloved landmark, rich in history and alive with the spirit of Ripton.

Editor’s Note: For the latest auction updates, including sneak peeks of art pieces, artist announcements, and youth activity details, follow Chipman Inn on Instagram and Facebook @ChipmanInn.

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