Sunday, February 12, 2006

Fun Finds: Good Art on the Cheap

We all say we want good art in our homes. However, only a small percentage of the population can afford to waltz into an art gallery, pick something out, and take it back to the casa.

Yet in almost every large city in the nation, nonprofit organizations hold fundraisers that have a focus on art.

Good art. Affordable good art.

They cajole artists into donating the stuff, then they auction it all off in one fun-filled silent auction. The artists get tax deductions, the nonprofits get your donation, and you get a great piece of art to take home. There is almost always a ticket price to attend these fundraisers, but you get libations and fellowship in return, along with a fun night on the town. Everyone wins.

In Austin, ArtHouse produces the 5 X 7 show every year. Artists from across the state donate works that are 5" X 7" and the public may purchase them for $100 each. Many of the artists are very well known, so you can walk away with quite a steal, along with that aforementioned good feeling down in your soul for helping to benefit a worthy organization.

In Dallas, The Resource Center of Dallas hosts Toast to Life, an annual gala fundraiser with a heavy focus on gallery-quality art and luxury goods. I've bought a few pieces at this event, and I've also donated a large painting every year.

We have friends that drive from Austin to Dallas for Toast to Life every year, and they always take home a piece of art. (Note that they drive so they can bring their new goodie home immediately, no matter the size)

The next Toast to Life event is coming right up, too: February 25 at Neiman Marcus downtown.

Also in Dallas, EASL (the Emergency Artist's Support League) often host fundraisers that feature one of a kind artworks, usually with a theme. It is worth getting on the mailing list if you live in Dallas, and EASL benefits local artists in need.

Wherever you live, keep your ear to the ground and get on mailing lists. Good art (really good art) can be had. You just have to go to fun parties and drink festive beverages to find it.

And hey, that ain't so bad.


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