Hundreds of art-lovers are expected to file through Oxygen Art Gallery on Friday night for the opening of its annual Art Market and Sale.
With more than 150 paintings, drawings, prints and photographs hung salon-style on every available bit of wall space, it’s a chance to take in the breadth of work made by West Kootenay artists — and perhaps bring a piece of original, locally-made art home with you.
New Denver artist Boukje Elzinga led the hanging committee for the show and has a few of her own pieces in the show. She said many artists choose to markdown their work for the market, pricing each piece between $20 and $1,000 and donating half the sale price to Oxygen.
“This is a big fundraiser for Oxygen Art Centre, and the artists want to make sure their work will sell,” Elzinga said.
“Usually artists submit pieces that have been kicking around their studio for awhile, or something they made as an experiment that it doesn’t really fit with their larger body of work — though some will make something specific for the Market.”
Hanging so many different styles together on the wall is a unique challenge for the hanging committee. Elzinga said they try to match colour tones, shapes and styles in the pieces. The larger pieces that are best viewed at a distance are hung higher on the wall, while the detailed pieces are at eye level.
“Each piece has to look good and can’t be hindered by the piece next to it,” she explained. “We’ll just keep moving things around until they look good.”
Elzinga and three other volunteers spent Wednesday hanging the show, which is only open this weekend. Then, it has to be taken down to make way for the centre’s new artist in residence.
“It’s a whirl wind — put everything up, take everything down. But it’s for a good cause,” she said, noting the event is Oxygen’s biggest fundraiser of the year and helps sustain programming at the artist run centre throughout the year.
The third annual Oxygen Art Market will take place on Friday, May 24 from 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday, May 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Oxygen Art Centre is located at 320 Vernon Street (back alley entrance). For more info see, oxygenartcentre.org.