Montrose Center for the Arts, a local nonprofit, announced on Sunday its new art exhibit and silent auction, “A Square Deal.” The exhibit and fundraiser began on Monday, June 15 and will run through July 3.
The center received 63 submissions, the majority of which were from the Montrose community, and around 55 total artists participated. Artists were asked to complete their work on a 8x8 canvas, which are available for silent bids in the gallery through the end of June. Bids must be a minimum of $20.
“The existence of the arts center is very important to the artists, as well as the community,” said Jodine Broscovak, president of the board for MCA. “The artists came together and decided to donate artwork for the benefit of the arts center, and we felt like it would be a fun activity.”
Broscovak said the organization called the exhibit “A Square Deal” because it felt like it was “a deal for everybody.”
The nonprofit passed out the 8x8 canvases, and the artists were welcomed to create their artwork, with no limit on subject matter or a specific medium. The artists donated the canvases back to the arts center, where they now hang inside the building in a gallery format. Participating artists were asked to sign the back of the canvas rather than the front to limit any judgement in case a bidder knows the artist personally.
Visitors and guests are welcome to come into the center during business hours and write down their bids before the July 3 reception where bidding will be finalized.
The Montrose Center for the Arts is located at 11 S. Park, and viewing and bidding of the “A Square Deal” exhibit can be done Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Masks are required.
MCA’s first Friday reception is on Friday, July 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. Bids for the silent auction can be placed until 7 p.m. that Friday, so Broscovak encouraged those who have placed bids to attend to make sure they secure the artwork they want to acquire.
MCA special advisor Bob Brown said social distancing efforts will be required at the event, and MCA encourages event attendees to to wear a mask.
The organization has received immediate feedback on the gallery from the community. Many are impressed by the work while others shared their appreciation for such a location in the community.
“They’re very impressed. Probably one of the major comments is, ‘we are so happy Montrose has this arts center,’” Broscovak said.
“There’s really very few outlets for individual, local artists to display their work,” Brown said. “So we’re really working hard to not only display it, but change it up for the artists as often as we can.”
The “A Square Deal” showcase is the MCA’s guest artist show for the month. There’s a new guest artist display every month, Brown said, which helps give the spotlight to an artist, or more, in the community.
For example, Barbara Kendrick, a pastelist from Ridgway, will be featuring her work at the arts center from July 3 to July 31. In August, MCA’s planned showcase theme will be Motor Art Madness — anyone in the community can enter — in honor and in celebration of the motorcycle rally currently scheduled to take place on August 15 in Montrose.
“Our mission is to promote all art forms in the city of Montrose,” Broscovak added.
The building reopened on May 26 after closing down due to COVID-19. In the meantime, the organization focused on ways to enhance sales opportunities, in addition to launching a website, mc4arts.com.
Within the website, the organization implemented an online sales gallery, which will help those interested in purchasing artwork from their homes. This addition helps with ongoing operations and maintenance, which is largely aided by grant funding, class tuition, art sales, and fundraising events.
Broscovak said MCA is in the process of placing the gift shop items online, too. In particular, a new addition was added to the gift shop last Friday when Cheri Isgreen, of Montrose, dropped off artwork, in the form of woven stars, that honor someone’s “COVID-19 hero” — grocery store employees, hospital staff, and any first responders.
Also, the website features information on available classes at MCA, upcoming events and a studio tour that highlights an artist and their work.
Brown said the arts center helps offer the art community some “unification,” and through educational classes, children and adults have an opportunity to learn more about different mediums or improve their art.
Broscovak acknowledged the value the arts center has for many and hopes they leave with a moving experience.
“The experience and enjoyment of art,” Broscavak said. “It’s an aside from everyday living, it opens up a new way of thinking, it exposes the visitor to the insight and imagination of each artist, and it also fuels some new ideas for, perhaps, personal creativity.”
For more information on upcoming events, classes, and additional MCA features, visit mc4arts.com. The arts center can be reached at (970) 787-9428.