10 x 10 creates a new twist on opinions of artwork

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not the name of the artist.

ARTIST UNKNOWN - This oil painting of a black Labrador retriever

ARTIST UNKNOWN - This oil painting of a black Labrador retriever

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not the name of the artist.

That is the idea behind Lacombe’s arts related event and fundraiser, 10 x 10 The Unknown Artist Art Sale and Fundraiser.

This event, which takes place from Sept. 18 to 29, showcases 10 inch by 10 inch pieces of artwork (or in the case of 3D art, pieces that will fit in a 10 inch cubed container) for sale that are not signed by their creators.

Maureen Mackenzie, executive assistant for the City of Lacombe and one of the event’s organizers, said that a collection of art has been assembled for the event.

She also said that the preview and sale night also presents an opportunity for art lovers to get their hands on some artwork.

On Sept. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m., a preview gala will be held where attendants can purchase any piece they like for $200, regardless of what the piece is valued at.

Some pieces have been valued up to $1,100, Mackenzie added.

Any pieces not sold during the preview sale will go up for silent auction during Lacombe’s Culture & Heritage Festival.

All of the pieces will be on display at the Lacombe Memorial Centre starting Sept. 12.

At this point, more than 50 pieces have been collected for 10 x 10 The Unknown Artist, said Mackenzie. She said most of the artists are from Alberta, but some have gained national recognition.

All kinds of artworks can be found within this collection, Mackenzie said. She added there is everything from paintings to pottery to glass mosaics to wax crayon art.

“It’s a broad range of artwork which is pretty cool.”

Mackenzie said the point of making the artist behind the pieces anonymous is to encourage people to let their feelings about the art itself determine whether or not they like a piece.

She added that the pieces in 10 x 10 The Unknown Artist are signed on the back of the pieces, so buyers will know the identity of the artist who created the piece after they have purchased it.

In the past, Lacombe has held an Arts Gala event in November. Mackenzie said the event has run for the past 13 years and this year, organizers decided to do something different. They came up with 10 x10 The Unknown Artist after learning of how successful such events had been elsewhere.

Mackenzie stressed that this is a new event that will replace the Arts Gala normally held in November. She also said anyone planning to attend the preview evening at the Lacombe Memorial Centre is encouraged to buy their tickets in advance.

Tickets can be purchased for $20 at City Hall, Judy’s Frames Plus, the Lacombe Memorial Centre and Alberta Art and Drafting Supplies in Red Deer. Tickets will also be sold at the door for $25.

10 x 10 The Unknown Artist is a fundraiser for the Lacombe Arts Endowment Fund, which was conceived in 2000. To date, it has provided more than $10,500 in grants and benefited 27 developing artists.