Mystery Show comes to Oak Bay Ave.

Red art gallery hosts second annual art lottery with a twist

A work of art by any other name would look as sweet.

It’s an approach Red Art Gallery owner Marion Evamy is taking towards next week’s second annual Mystery Show, an art sale by lottery, during which all names have been removed from works up for sale.

“When none of the paintings are identified by artists … it puts everybody on a level field and the art is good,” Evamy said of the June 20 event. “It’s standing on its own merit.”

The idea is similar to other first-come-first-served-style art sales, only one step further, she added.

Forty 25-by-25 centimetre pieces created by 40 different artists will be up for grabs to 40 potential buyers at $295 each. Each guest will have the opportunity to view the work in advance before claiming a piece in 60 seconds or less, when their name is drawn at the show. The majority of the artists in the show are local, with others juried in from across B.C. and Alberta.

“We decided to level the playing field all the way by the draw, the luck of the draw,” Evamy said.

While there is no expectation to purchase any art, most do. Last year 33 of 40 participants went home satisfied after a 45-minute lottery.

“A lot of people have two or three pieces that they may be interested in purchasing, so when their first choice goes, you maybe hear some aws or groans in the crowd, but different people like different things so we had 33 people who walked away happy last year.”

Anything that isn’t sold during the lottery will remain up for sale at Red Art Gallery (2033 Oak Bay Ave.) in the following days.

Peruse the works online now at redartgallery.ca or check them out in the gallery from Tuesday through Thursday next week. Advance tickets, available for $10 at Red, are required.