ORIGINAL ART at a fraction of the cost. Check.
Priced to sell. Check.
Original painting purchased for $15. Check.
If you live anywhere near Faribault and have not checked out the annual Recycled Art Sale at the Paradise Center for the Arts, race down to 321 Central Avenue between noon and 5 p.m. today or Saturday.
I look forward to this sale every year and have found some great pieces, including an original oil on burlap by Mexican artist Jose Maria de Servin and Theodore de Groot LathArt by Austin Productions.
This year I brought home a floral oil painting by P. Willis, whose identity is unknown to me. Pamela? Patricia? Paul? I have no idea. But of one fact I am certain. I love the painting.
And that’s the type of reaction Gail Kielmeyer, who serves on the Paradise Gallery Committee and the Mural Society of Faribault—sponsors of the Recycled Art Sale—witnesses among many a shopper. “All of a sudden they fall in love with a piece and have to take it home,” she says.
I expect that’s exactly what Kielmeyer and co-volunteer Mary Niermann thought as they watched me peruse the Paradise gallery crammed with everything from original pieces to prints to pottery, sculptures, mirrors, ceramics, and even art books. Prices ranged from a quarter for a dish to $400 for four Vietnamese in-laid mother-of-pearl panels which sold on the first day of the sale on Thursday.
Art lovers were waiting in line outside the Paradise for the noon opening of the sixth annual sale. One enthusiast calls the event her “very favorite sale of the year.”
And part of the reason may be the incredibly affordable prices. “A lot of people think original art is expensive and for wealthy people,” Kielmeyer says. Not so at this sale. Prices are kept purposely “priced to sell,” giving art lovers who might not otherwise be able to afford original art (that would be me), the opportunity to own original art.
That de Servin purchased several years ago cost me $7. The de Groot LathArt, $10.
You will find a variety of art from stills to landscapes, abstracts and plenty more priced to sell, many for under $20. Yes. Incredible.
All of the pieces are donated by people who are downsizing, for example, or remodeling or have had a piece forever. Or the favorite explanation this year heard by Kielmeyer: “We’re pretending we’re moving.”
So the art some no longer want, need or have space for is now recycled into the hands of happy art lovers like me.
And, as a bonus, the Paradise and the Mural Society make some money. This year organizers hope to bring in $4,000 from the sale, about $1,000 more than last year. The first sale six years ago brought in $800.
Interest grows as do the number of donations and the variety of art offered. This year an estimated 1,000 items are for sale. Many had already been sold when I shopped on Thursday evening. But you could have fooled me. The gallery is still packed with incredible art priced to sell.
© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling