Monday, November 2, 2009

A Little Out of the Ordinary

Every year I participate in two art auctions: one for my alma mater, Massachusetts College of Art, and the other Icons+Altars for the New Art Center in Newtonville, Mass.

The MassArt auction is now a Very Big Deal with expensive tickets required for admission to the auction, a festive buffet with wine, a well-known auctioneer and prime collectors attending. The auction is actually juried and requires that three images from each potential donor be submitted in advance so that one of the three may be selected if the artist is allowed to participate (i.e. donate). Both an online and a printed catalog are prepared, and images must be submitted in November for the early April event. I made three (reworked) oil paintings to submit for jurying but haven't photographed them yet. I'll show you when I do.

Home Sweet Home, encaustic with mixed media and found painting, 16 1/2"H x 6"W x 1"D. (In case you can't quite make them out, those are aligators or crocodiles swimming in the pool below the tranquil scene.) (And that's plastic lace so it shouldn't need laundering.)

But meanwhile, I sent off my piece above today for Icons+Altars. This event is not actually an auction because all the works are sold for one fixed price. (This year $250.) When you buy a ticket, you are entitled to draw a number which indicates the order in which you may select an artwork from the 107 pieces that have been donated. The work is supposed to represent either an icon or an altar and the size is to be kept fairly small, but after that, anything goes.

I usually spend an inordinate amount of time making the piece and get way too involved. This year wasn't too, too bad because I came across that saccharine painting in the cardboard pseudo-wood frame when I was clearing out my mother's apartment. It is actually 3D with dimensional mountains, birches and fence, and it looks just like our sweet little home (nestled close to the western Mass. Alps, on the shores of Lake Superior). It's truly an icon, representing both the idyllic vision of home we all have and the more realistic pool of aligators we find ourselves in after we own the damned thing.

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