No-name art on the North Shore
Do you think certain artists get more attention than they deserve?
Then drop by North Vancouver’s eighth annual Anonymous Art Show, where each painter’s name remains a secret until the piece is purchased.
“The show puts everyone on the same platform and encourages both emerging and established artists,” says Jo Dunlop, exhibitions co-ordinator for the North Vancouver Community Arts Council.
Artists are free to paint whatever they want — cityscapes, birds, flowers, abstract art — as long as the work is created on an unframed 8”x 8” canvas.
The artist’s name is written on the back, only to be revealed after the painting is purchased.
Last year, 416 artists submitted 732 paintings. In total, more than 220 paintings were sold for $100 apiece, with half going to the artist and the rest to the arts council. Submissions are being accepted until Nov. 3 for the show, which opens on the evening of Nov. 22 and runs until Dec. 15.
“It’s a great way for artists to test out the market by creating something they wouldn’t normally do,” says Dunlop, adding that people who want a specific artist will need to do their best at guessing which painting is theirs.
“It’s a great way to discover someone new. We have people that come here every year to cover a wall in their house out of the eight-by-eight canvases.”
Celebrated Canadian artists who participated in previous years include Ross Penhall, Kiff Holland, Carol Arnston, Joan Baron and Joan Skeet.
While it can be challenging for some artists to work within such a small frame, Dunlop says the tiny canvases allow gallery-goers to see many paintings in one night. Last year, around 300 people came to Anonymous Art Show’s opening night, creating a long line out the door.
“Artists have gotten commissions out of the show when someone sees their work and wants another larger painting done. It’s a good way to get exposure” says Dunlop.
When sales are made, the arts council will Tweet the names of the artists and their websites to its 1,000-plus followers.
The Anonymous Art Show sale and opening night is on Nov. 22 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at CityScape Community Art Space at 335 Lonsdale Ave. For more information, visit nvartscouncil.ca or follow @NVArtsCouncil on Twitter.
How to participate:
- Only unframed, 8”x 8” x 1 ½” back-stapled canvas or wood-cradle panel are accepted. Blank canvases can be purchased from the arts council ($5 for members or $7 for non-members).
-Two-dimensional paintings only. Relief and three-dimensional work is not accepted.
-Full name, signature, title and website (if available) must be written on the back of the canvas.
-On the back of the canvas, write the title of the painting and put an “up” arrow to indicate the top.
-Three different paintings per artist that haven’t been shown at a previous Anonymous Art Show will be accepted.