Saturday, May 29, 2010

Expect quick sellout at art sale

photo Butterfly and flies over oil spill water, a photograph by Houston artist Allison Hunter, is one of the works for sale in the AMG Visual Stimulus Package.
While politicians and economists debate the efficacy of last year's $787 billion stimulus package and whether another round is needed, a handful of entrepreneurial Houstonians are taking decisive action to get money trickling into Texas artists' coffers.
Their market-based strategy: selling works by big-name artists at small-time prices — $50 or $100 apiece — during a one-night-only shopping spree.
Presented by Apama Mackey Gallery and Keep Houston Rich, a website that posts daily videos celebrating the city, the AMG Visual Stimulus Package is back for its second year and follows the same format.
Collectors looking to score pieces by emerging and established Houston-, San Antonio- and Austin-area artists have from 11 a.m. to 5:59 p.m. today to peruse Mackey's one-day group exhibition.
At 6 p.m. sharp, a two-hour first-come-first-served buying frenzy will ensue.
And there will be a frenzy, if last year's experience is any indication.
“We ran out of wine within an hour,” Mackey says. “I kept sending people to the store. It got to the point where I was like, ‘OK, next year I'll have to get a keg.' ”
(She did. This year, Southern Star Brewery of Conroe is sponsoring the event.)
Among the artists contributing work in all kinds of media are Sharon Kopriva, Allison Hunter, Soody Sharifi, Jahjehan Bath Ives and Kyle Olson, a San Antonio-based artist Mackey discovered last year through the first stimulus show.
Despite last year's stampede and the inevitable disappointments that ensued when more than one buyer wanted the same artwork, nobody left too disappointed, Mackey says.
“Everybody got something that they were really happy with, and that's the nice thing,” she says. “You pay so much less, and you get something awesome. All in all, it was a hit.”

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