Once a year, Maryland Federation of Art asks it's vast pool of artist members to donate an original, quality piece of art for their annual fundraising event.
MFA is unlike other art organizations because it is entirely self funded, non-profit, over fifty years old, and through events like Collector's Choice, makes a concerted effort to keep participation costs for membership, submissions, and commissions low. This helps artists enormously.
For instance, for every gallery or art festival, there is a fee to enter. Fees can range from $25 per art piece to $75 per entry and up. MFA keeps entry fees for members at $25, and only five additional dollars per additional entry per show. And if your piece does make it past the juror in traditional shows (Thank you, Jesus!), then 50-60% of any sale is kept as a commission by the gallery. Not so for MFA who charge 30% commission. Add in cost for materials, marketing, and travel to and from, time spent promoting the show, etc, and the artist is left to, well, starve. This is why original art is so expensive, and why MFA is such a vital lifeline for Maryland artists in which to hone their craft and venture to make a reasonable living.
The Collectors Choice event is something I'm passionate about and not just because each year I've donated, my piece is often among the first grouping to be chosen. It is a chance for artists and collectors at every level, to mingle over good food, talk art, and for $185, every ticket holder and their guest goes home with one piece of original art that is valued far above the $185 ticket price. MFA encourages direct contact between the artist and the art enthusiast, instead of being the traditional art gatekeeper and middleman.
Yesterday I drove Black Betty (our big truck) to Annapolis to drop off my piece for this year's Collector's Choice event. Which one did I donate? Well, it's large, colorful, and valued between $1200-$1500. I saw the pieces my artist contemporaries have already dropped off, and will be buying a ticket so that I can take one home too!
My piece and the donated art of my colleagues will be hung on Monday at Circle Gallery in Historic Annapolis for viewing. There is still time to attend! I've got the invitation below so consider yourself invited!!!!! See you there!
Go to www.mdfedart.org for more details. Please consider attending!