We decided to conduct an experiment. We asked artists to take a gamble and offer up their work for a raffle during the Hyattsville Arts Festival on this past May 22nd. We had a ton of foot traffic and a great deal of attention last year, so we figured this was an opportunity to take advantage and develop a different way to sell art.
Kevin Mellema stepped up to the plate and brought a few drawings by my place that were previously on display in the Lee Art Center. Kevin’s work “Ponytail #3” pictured below really spoke to me, and he agreed to offer it for a raffle. One extremely lucky art lover was going to get an amazing deal!
The raffle idea is a bit unusual since it fights the traditional affluent art buying mentality. It’s still an expensive work of art, but one lucky collector will get the work through funding developed by the masses, not the individual wallet. We had to protect the artist with a minimum. It would be a travesty if the gamble failed and he only received pocket change for his work. The project was successful, and we sold enough tickets to pick a winner.
At the close of the day, Amy and I tossed all of the tickets into a pitcher, shook them up, and then she picked one at random! There was no bias! (see the video below!) Kevin and I are both quite pleased that the winner is an artist and an art lover. Which means it will go to a loving home where it will get the respect it deserves.