Gray Gallery to host art auction and sale on Sept. 22, preview Sept. 7


The Keaton and Umberger Gala Art Auction and Sale that was scheduled to be hosted by the Gray Gallery Saturday, Sept. 22 has been postponed until 2019.

While East Carolina University School of Art & Design and the Gray Gallery have been spared by Hurricane Florence, we are aware that a significant amount of our surrounding communities were not. In solidarity with hurricane victims, the Gray Gallery hopes that those who are in a position to give would currently focus their efforts on our neighbors in need.

If you have already purchased tickets to the event, please note that the auction will be rescheduled (TBD) and purchased tickets will remain valid for the second iteration. If you would prefer a refund, please call 252-328-1268.

Our greatest wish is a speedy recovery for all. Looking forward to reintroducing this fabulous collection to the public in the new year, until then you can see the full collection on view until Friday, Sept. 21. Thanks to all for patience and understanding during a difficult time.

For questions, please contact

The Wellington B. Gray Gallery in the East Carolina University School of Art and Design will present the Keaton and Umberger Gala Art Auction and Sale of fine art, crafts and decorative pieces on Sept. 22 from 6-9 p.m.

An opening reception and preview of the collection will be held from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7. The public can view the pieces during gallery hours until Sept. 21.

The Wellington B. Gray Gallery is in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center at ECU.

The Wellington B. Gray Gallery is in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center at ECU. (Contributed photo)

Tickets for the auction and sale are $25 and may be purchased in advance by calling 252-328-1268 by Sept. 14 or at the door on Sept. 22.

The evening also will feature live music, hors d’oeuvres and beverages from local Greenville establishments.

All proceeds from the event will support scholarships and programs at the ECU School of Art and Design.

For more than 50 years, the late Benjamin Franklin Keaton Jr. (ECU ‘57, ’61) and the late Wallace Randolph “Ranny” Umberger Jr. were supporters of artistic expression in a variety of different mediums. In 1998, Keaton and Umberger founded Long Leaf Opera, which for decades was one of only two opera companies in the Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area.

Keaton was the first graduate student to receive a master of arts in music from ECU. He was a faculty member at N.C. Central University for 18 years, and was a member of ECU’s College of Fine Arts and Communication Advancement Council.

Pieces from Keaton and Umberger’s personal collection in the auction and sale include artworks by Robert Indiana, Émile Louis Picault and Arlene De La Hayes, prints by Edward Hopper and paintings by ECU School of Art alumnus Bob Rankin (’70), and an extensive amount of indigenous art including Zuni fetishes, Coolidge Roy Jr. dolls, Hopi pottery and Inuk art.

Gray Gallery is in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center at ECU. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from noon-4 p.m. The gallery is closed for all university holidays. The fine arts center is handicapped accessible. Individuals with disabilities who require accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact the Department of Disability Support Services at least two weeks before the event at 252-737-1016.


Contact: Gray Gallery Director Angel Bellaran,, 252-328-1312