Thursday, Jan 04, 2018 - 9:00 am

San Diego, CA—The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will host the 11th biennial Art Auction at its downtown location at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, March 28. The highly anticipated event will feature live and silent auctions of approximately 100 works by early career and internationally recognized artists, including John Baldessari, Liza Lou, Wangechi Mutu, and Ed Ruscha.

The biennial event is the Museum’s largest fundraiser, providing vital support for educational programs, exhibitions, and art acquisitions. All works are carefully considered by MCASD’s Director and Curators.   

“MCASD’s Art Auction allows visitors to switch from being mere observers of art to being active collectors of it,” said Kathryn Kanjo, The David C. Copley Director & CEO. “MCASD’s curatorial team invites exhibiting artists, whose works reflect the dynamism of today’s art world. The objects range in style, scale, media, and price: whether you’re an auction veteran or just looking for an entertaining way to support the Museum, Art Auction 2018 has something for you.”

This year’s auction will offer a range of works, from paintings and sculpture, to works on paper, all donated from artists and galleries both locally and internationally. Artworks will be on display in the galleries at MCASD Downtown from Saturday, March 10 through Wednesday, March 28, the night of the auction.

Art Auction 2018 will begin at 6:30 PM with a hosted bar and ample food stations as guests enter their silent auction bids. We are pleased to announce Christie’s as the official auction house partner, and Senior Vice President Lydia Fenet as auctioneer for the evening. The live auction will begin at 8 PM, after which Fenet will conduct a live closing of select silent auction works to conclude the evening.

Guests at this year’s auction will have exclusive access to special-edition Art Auction 2018 paddles created by artist Mara De Luca. These limited-quantity paddles are available to Gold Circle ticket purchasers. Gold Circle ticket holders will also be able to preview the works and receive tours and curatorial counsel at a private VIP Preview Reception on Saturday, March 10, 2018. Mobile bidding will open at the VIP preview.

Event tickets will go on sale and contributing artists will be announced in January 2018. The full list of artworks will be available at before the auction.  


General Tickets: $100 MCASD Members ($60 is tax-deductible); $125 Non-members ($60 is tax-deductible)

General tickets include access to the cocktail reception, silent auction, standing tickets to the live auction, and dessert reception.

Gold Circle Tickets: $250 MCASD Members ($125 is tax-deductible); $275 Non-members ($125 tax-deductible)

Gold Circle ticket holders may book a private curatorial tour of the auction works and will be invited to a private VIP reception with a preview of the works led by MCASD’s curators on March 10, 2018. In addition, Gold Circle ticket holders will receive a special-edition paddle designed by artist Mara De Luca (limited quantity), and will have preferred seating at the live auction, complimentary valet parking the night of the auction, and a listing in the auction’s program.

About The Auctioneer

Lydia Wickliffe Fenet
Senior Vice President, International Director of Strategic Partnerships

As Senior Vice President, International Director of Strategic Partnerships at Christie’s, Lydia Fenet leads a global team forging significant collaborations with other luxury brands. Building on her 15-plus-year career at the historic auction house, Ms. Fenet pioneered the Strategic Partnerships program at Christie’s in 2010, leveraging skills sharpened both as Special Events Director from 2004-2010 and during her time on Christie’s Client Advisory team. Under Fenet’s purview, innovative brand partnerships have grown into a valuable marketing and business development platform for Christie’s and its partners, producing dynamic co-branded initiatives worldwide. These initiatives include major exhibitions, special events, and targeted digital activations.

Since leading her first auction in 2001, Fenet has become Christie's International Head of Benefit Auctioneering and the top performer in the field, raising hundreds of millions of dollars for some of the largest non-profit organizations around the world and training Christie’s new classes of charity auctioneers. Some of her recent auctions include The Clinton Foundation, AMFAR, Tipping Point, the Naples Winter Wine Festival and The Bob Woodruff Foundation. She also serves as the emcee for JAM, WeWorks’ ongoing event series aimed at introducing entrepreneurs to potential investors, and in 2014 partnered with Glenn Close and Robert DeNiro to launch the Bring Change To Mind auction benefiting mental health.

In 2014, Fenet was named one of New York’s most influential women by Gotham Magazine. She speaks regularly on The Art of Selling, offering tips on how to successfully sell yourself professionally and personally. Fenet graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Arts degree in both Art History and History from Sewanee - The University of the South. She currently resides in New York City with her husband and three children, Beatrice, Henry, and Eloise.

About Christie’s

Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewelry, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters, and Jewelry.

Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India, and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai, and Dubai.


MCASD’s Art Auction 2018 is made possible by the generosity, counsel, and support of our sponsors Christie’s, Chubb, Room & Board, and Schubach Aviation. Additional in-kind support is provided by ArtWorks San Diego, The Frame Maker, and Quint Contemporary Art.

For media interested in high-resolution images or interviews, please contact Communications & Marketing Manager Leah Straub.


Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum's collection includes more than 4,700 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Kathryn Kanjo is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD. Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.