San Luis Obispo reeled in its Trout About Downtown public art exhibit on Saturday, Aug. 27, selling all 25 steelhead sculptures and raising over $82,000 for the Prado Day Center.
A collaboration between the city, the chamber of commerce, the Downtown Association, and the arts community, Trout About Downtown raised about $15,000 from pre-auction sales and another $67,900 from the Fish Commish auction held at Mission Plaza.
"It went a lot better than we expected," said Lindsey Miller of the SLO Chamber of Commerce. They had originally hoped to raise about $20,000, she explained.
The colorful fish, decorated by local artists and sponsored by local businesses and organizations, first went on display in the spring, eliciting a wide range of reactions over the last five months. In the beginning, a few sculptures were vandalized, stolen, and returned, but with last weekend's auction, the project proved to be a tremendous success.
The highest-priced fish, sponsored by Cal Poly and dubbed Polly Troutnik, fetched $6,600 from local developer John Madonna.
Based on the success of the event, Miller says they'd like to organize a similar project next year, but at this point nothing is in the works.