While the Carroll Arts Center's annual yArt Sale has long been known as a place where art lovers can find a forgotten or abandoned piece of artwork, in recent years it has transformed into a place for artists to find the supplies to make their next masterpiece.
The yArt Sale was created five years ago as a fundraiser for the arts center, getting them through the summer months, after the spring PEEPshow and winter Festival of Wreaths. According to executive director Sandy Oxx, during the first year, the idea was to take donated objects in poor quality to be cannibalized for the frames or as raw materials. By the second year, though, the public began donating higher quality pieces, both originals and prints now for sale at highly discounted prices.
According to Arts Center communications coordinator Joanna Crone, the event expanded to including art supplies and books. One of the major donors, she said, were the owners of Ain't That a Frame in Westminster who drop off high quality materials including canvas, paper, brushes and more.
For those looking for a deal, artist coordinator Susan Williamson recommends checking out the art supplies room. She estimated that a single tube of unused watercolor paper could retail for more than $300 outside of the yArt Sale. Other selling points include brushes, mattes, paints and chemicals.
To help encourage people to take advantage of their own artistic muses, the Arts Center is hosting a special exhibit tied to the yArt Sale in January called "There's A Monster in my Masterpiece." Those who sign up to participate in the exhibit will be given a $5 coupon towards the purchase of a painting.
These paintings will then be altered to feature a monster on top of the existing artwork, added through collage, paint or more. Though the original work does not have to be purchased at the yArt Sale, Oxx said it's a great opportunity to get an idea.
"It is the perfect breeding ground to find a landscape to put your monster in," Oxx said.
Prices range from a single dollar to up to $25 for some of the larger pieces. Oxx said the entire idea of the fundraiser is to provide art and art supplies to the public at a much more affordable price than they'd ever be able to find elsewhere.
To help move the art, this year is also the first to feature a 50 percent off day on Monday following the main yArt Sale on Saturday.
"It's a fundraiser, but it is a lot of hard work for one week," Oxx said. "To put it in perspective, we make $4,000 or $5,000 in one day. It doesn't really compare to the Festival of Wreaths, but we love to do this because it's so fun."