The Montrose Center for the Arts (MCA) is getting square this month. Their annual 8x8 canvas show is back and returning with nearly double the participants compared to last year.
Presenting its Second Annual Square Deal Show and Auction all through June, the art center opened its doors to artists all over the Western Slope to pick up a free 8x8 canvas and decorate it however their imagination leads them. Artists donated their work to the art center for its auction fundraiser.
“There were no rules in terms of what was asked for, so we have all kinds of media,” said MCA volunteer Robert Brown. “We have digital, photography and oil paintings. One is made from marbles, another is a gourd artist.”
Brown added that the collection includes fine art and a nationally known professional artist. The art pieces will be kept anonymous to prevent biased bidding, but bidders can access a list of artists in the store if they choose.
The fundraiser is a way for the nonprofit art center to raise money to cover expenses such as rent and utilities, and MCA is hopeful that the fundraiser will help them reach their goals and continue serving the community through art.
“It should be a lot of fun, we want people to come out this First Friday and I think it will be very interesting. We’ve had people come in and they’re impressed at the paintings,” said Pat Brown, also a volunteer at the MCA.
The fundraiser brought in a couple thousand dollars last year after receiving 42 entries, according to the Browns. This year, the art center received around 75 entries.
A variety of paintings decorate the gallery wall, from flowers, landscapes, animals, portraits to several fabric and textured pieces. Between last year and this year, the collection is host to a wide range of skill levels.
“They make a good gift and you can always find a small spot for one in your home,” said Pat of the auction items. While May 29 was the last day to submit a canvas, Robert said there have been some stragglers.
“The more the better. I think it’s a good thing because it was a good fundraiser for last year,” said Robert. “People were quite excited and it’s something that people can use without having to dedicate a wall to it.”
The auction requires a $20 bid, and bidders are welcome to check in on their bids throughout the month.
The First Friday event for the new show will be held on June 4 from 5-7pm at MCA located at 11 South Park. The event will include drinks and snacks brought in by volunteers. The auction closes on July 2.
Cassie Knust is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press.