The gallery of Greensboro’s Center for Visual Artists held its seventh annual 100 for 100 fundraiser. The event draws in artists from all over the country to donate pieces of their original 10 inch by 10 inch artwork to be sold for $100 each during the one night sale.
The fundraiser looks like a traditional art exhibit, except that the artwork flies off the walls on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“One-hundred for 100, to me, is generally the most fun visual art show of the year in Greensboro,” gallery board member and art collector Arthur Erikson, said.
Proceeds from pieces sold will fund the gallery’s lineup of exhibitions and arts outreach. The fundraiser was dreamed up by CVA gallery curator Kristy Thomas. Each year, Thomas coordinates with dozens of artists who have ties to the Triad in order to bring the show to life.
“Most of these artists are members, but you don’t have to be,” said CVA gallery executive director Katie Lank. “Artists will move away but still want to do this show.”
Artists from the 2017 show ranged in location from Greensboro, Asheville and Charlotte to as far away as Texas, Washington and New York. One-hundred 10-by-10 canvases, donated by Blick Art Supplies, were distributed to artists to do whatever they liked.
The canvases returned transformed by a huge variety of mediums and styles. Some artists broke apart the canvas to build three-dimensional art onto the frame. Some discarded the frame altogether in favor of a 10-by-10 piece in an unframed medium, such as metal or glass.
Lank and Thomas are always impressed by the creativity of the artists who participate, as well as their generosity.
“You’ve gotta think, the only thing we’re giving them is the canvas,” Lank said. “All the other materials are their own cost, their time is at their own cost, but then they give it back to us. So their contribution is above what we give them initially.”
The $100 price tag is low, especially for established artists. The appeal of a good deal helps the fundraiser appeal to everyone, from first time art buyers to professionals such as Erikson.
“Because the price is set, this is a show where it is possible to acquire work by people who would never otherwise sell for so little money,” Erikson said. “Jim Gallucci comes to mind as an otherwise not very accessible artist, price-wise.”
Erikson views 100 for 100 as a great opportunity to scope out several works from different artists in different mediums all at once, without breaking the bank and not alone in this line of thought.
“We have a couple that become members every year just to get in early to buy work from this show,” Lank said.
Lank said their goal is to have 100 and they have artists that they come back and try to collect every year.
In years past, 100 for 100 was spread out over two days. CVA Gallery members shopped the works on Thursday night and on Friday, the pieces that were left went on sale to the public.
This year, the members-only viewing was held just an hour before the public show opened at 6 p.m. Thomas sees this shift as a way to streamline the event while giving people, who might not otherwise consider membership, a good reason to take the leap.
“If people outside get antsy, they can just pay to become a member and come get something they like,” Thomas said.
Membership not only grants early access to 100 for 100, but also to the gallery’s year-round arts programming. But the thrill of scooping up one-of-a-kind pieces is enough reason for many.
“There is some sense of urgency to it all. Mulling over a piece for a long time risks someone else snatching it out from under you,” Erikson said. “There is some of the vibe of an auction, which some might find anxiety-provoking, but I think is exciting.”
The CVA Gallery is located inside the Greensboro Cultural Center on North Davie Street in downtown Greensboro. For more information about the CVA or to become a member, visit www.greensboroart.org.
Mia Osborn is a Greensboro-based freelance writer who hails from Birmingham, Alabama.