A silent auction conducted by the Oriental Rug Importers Association (ORIA) will highlight the Atlanta International Area Rug Market. Slated to run the first two days of the July 16-19 meeting at AmericasMart, the auction is expected to showcase some of the finest oriental rugs in the world. ORIA's notes that proceeds will go to the Charitable Fund Benefiting Children.

Auction winners will be announced at the 13th Annual Rug Retailer of the Year Awards, slated for 6 p.m. July 17 in the Oceans Ballroom of the Georgia Aquarium. Retailers honored at the event are selected by an independent panel of industry experts. Nominees are chosen by exhibitors at the rug mart.

Additionally, the educational component of the market, AmericasMart University, has been designed to appeal to those starting out in the business as well as retail veterans. Classes include "Does Selling Rugs Have You Tied Up in 'Nots'?," 9 to 10:30 a.m. July 17; "Oriental Rugs 101," 10 to 11 a.m. July 18; and "Tips for a Proper ORRA Appraisal," 1 to 1:30 p.m. on the same day.

As always, the centerpiece of the market is expected to be product introductions, including those from such leading companies as Karastan, Couristan, Milliken, Capel and Shaw Living. Dozens of temporary exhibitors from around the world will also be on hand to showcase their latest products and developments. For more information, call (800) ATL-MART.