Gallery 51’s Affordable Art Show Draws Crowds

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People crowded into Gallery 51 last Thursday for the annual 99 Cent Affordable Art Show featuring colorful and creative pieces by local and regional artists.

All the artwork displayed in the gallery was priced between 99 cents and $99.99, available to take home on the day of purchase.

Participating artist and curator of Gallery 51 Arthur De Bow spoke about the importance of this event.

“It really does bring together diverse artists and shows off their beautiful work,” said De Bow, citing this as one of his favorite shows. “The goal is to make the art more approachable, both in its display and its price.”

The vibrant colors of the artwork and its displays contrasted with the white of the gallery, making the space a bright and enjoyable place to browse around.

Some of the pieces offered to the public included ceramic cups and bowls, framed prints and paintings, notebooks and notecards, knitted scarves and hats, photography, figurines, holiday ornaments and fiber arts.

One artist used vinyl as their medium of choice, creating earrings, bracelets, necklaces, bowls and even fortune cookies.

Refreshments were also offered for shoppers and spectators.

Senior Shannon Cahill helped out at the gallery, assisting shoppers in purchases.

“We had an amazing turn out and it was great to see the MCLA community, the artist community, and the North Adams community coming together to enjoy each other’s work and company,” said Cahill. “Pieces have been flying off the walls and it’s been really great to see this show succeed.”

vinyl jewelry by Casey Albert

This was De Bow’s first Affordable Art Show as curator. He wanted to emphasize broadening the reach of artists that displayed their pieces. The number of artists grew from 26 to 35 for this year’s show.

De Bow feels as though the show works as a representation of MCLA to the public, as well as a representation of the talent in the surrounding areas.

“We have work by MCLA students, alumni, staff and faculty as well as local and regional artists, some of whom come from within a 60 mile radius. We have artists that have come from Albany and Hadley,” De Bow said.

The show attracted young and old from the community, as they shopped for others, as well as themselves. Some community members said that they look forward to the show every year.

De Bow will be working on making the show an even bigger presence in the community for next year, following the lead of the community’s love for the event.