- November 22, 2019
No matter what your decor style is, All Angels Episcopal Church will probably have a piece of art for you hanging or resting in its gallery. After all, there are over 60 works for sale right now.
Usually, the church features a local artist in its gallery every month, but there was no artist on deck for February. So, office director Linn Torres and Father Dave Marshall cooked up a new idea: a crowd-sourced art sale.
“We have parishioners that are remodeling and buying new things, and so we came up with an idea,” Marshall said. “What if we were to have a place for parishioners to let go of old art and the proceeds go to the church?”
They sent out a call to parishioners to ask for the un-hung art collecting dust in closets or storage units, figuring they’d get a couple dozen or so. The drive exploded, with residents bringing in over 60 works over two weeks.
“We have a number of folks who have purchased condos here and the condos came with art, and they didn't know what to do with it, so this is a good way to recycle it,” Marshall said.
Some local artists who are parishioners of the church even donated a few pieces of their own, like Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island member Chris Collins, who also makes his own frames for his pieces.
“So the supply part has worked better than we ever imagined,” Marshall said. “Now we’re wondering about the demand.”
The January artist’s work came down on the last Thursday of the month, and Torres and Marshall spent their Sunday hanging as much of the donated art as they could fit in the gallery. In a normal month, the featured artist has about 30 pieces displayed in the gallery. With over 60 pieces (as of Jan. 27), Torres faced a Tetris-like challenge in order to display the art.
“I will be hanging as much as we can hang without it looking tacky,” Torres said.
Torres and Marshall already purchased a piece for the church office, and Marshall has his eye on a silver fish that was donated, too. The art ranges in style, size and medium, with detailed watercolor paintings of flowers and water scenes alongside a print of “dog rules” including “bark softly.” One parishioner made a quilt and there are mirrors, bowls and other home goods as part of the art sale too.
Torres spent days researching the artists responsible for the works donated, to make sure every piece was priced fairly. It’s been slow work, she said, trying to decipher signatures and previous sales information. They hope to sell as much of the art as possible, and if it goes well, it may become an annual tradition.
“What we're really thinking is that if it works, that next year, we're gonna have a wine and cheese party, we're gonna have a band, we're really gonna make a night of it,” Marshall said.