‘Let’s get small’: exhibit returns

Published 12:50 am Saturday, February 12, 2011

Staff Writer

You asked for it, you got it.
In response to popular demand, the Little Art Exhibit returns for its second showing next month.
First held last year, this fundraiser for the Beaufort County Arts Council was supposed to be a biennial happening, but its renown reportedly resulted in its resurrection one year early.
Patrons already are showing interest in buying paintings by participating artists, said Joey Toler, BCAC executive director.
“The distribution of the work is fast and furious, and the bartering and swapping that occurred as patrons traded work amongst each other was an aspect we hadn’t really expected,” Toler said in a recent news release.
Tayloe’s Hospital Pharmacy has signed on as an “exclusive corporate partner,” and Lone Leaf Gallery is offering custom framing of the canvases at a 25-percent discount, Toler conveyed.
The gallery’s owners suggested they were happy to play a role in this.
“We wanted to contribute a service at a discounted rate that would help complement the new, unframed canvases,” said Meredith Loughlin, who co-owns Lone Leaf with her husband Neil.
“We’re both fans of the event, and I’ve donated a painting or two each time they’ve done it,” she added. “We hope the discount will encourage even more sales of the little paintings, which will help the arts council even more.”
The canvases have gone out to the “little” artists, which means the brush strokes are flying.
Each “little” work sold as part of the exhibit goes out the door for $30. Four paintings can be had for $100.
The affordability of the art, coupled with the fact that patrons can leave this fundraiser with something in their hands, accounts for the popularity of this exhibit, Toler explained in an interview.
“I think it did take us a little bit by surprise last year,” he said. “It was such a simple fundraiser in the making, and then the way the public responded and the artists responded, it was a pleasant surprise.”
The arts council invested in canvases, and that investment paid off, he indicated.
“It’s one of those things that if you’ve never done it before you don’t know how it’s going to turn out,” Toler commented. “Even though we like to take risks, we don’t like to take financial risks.”
The Little Art Exhibit runs March 15 through March 17 at the Washington Civic Center. The event closes with a reception March 17.
For more information, call the arts council at 252-946-2504 or e-mail BCAC at beaufortcountyarts@embarqmail.com.