A couple friends and I headed downtown this evening to attend The Cheaper Show (eighth installment), a one-night-stand art show featuring 150 artists and 300 pieces of original artwork. A bit about the show from the official website:
On June 21st, 2008, the eighth installment of The Cheaper Show series will take place in the Gastown district of Vancouver, BC.
The concept of The Cheaper Show is very simple: 150 multi-disciplined international artists presenting 300 pieces of art, each priced at $200 for one night only. Far from being an ‘art sale,’ each exhibiting artist consciously makes a sacrifice by selling their work for less than its potential value. This creates united support for the event, the arts community, and an opportunity for this show to take place in an environment that is accessible to everyone. In turn, many walk away with sales, exposure, commissions and gallery representation, as well as having an opportunity to connect with peers on an even playing field.
As it turned out, this was a popular place to be tonight; well over a thousand people attended. The show opened at 7pm and by the time we’d arrived (8pm) the lineup to get in was several blocks long. We waited in line 45 minutes only to get about 1/4 of the way to the entrance before we decided to go eat and try the line again at 10.
So we went to The Foundation, got drinks and tried the (delicious) vegan dark chocolate fondue. We also rested our sore feet and spent at least 10 minutes trying to figure out how to split the $20 bill three ways when all we had on us were twenties. THAT IS WAY HARDER THAN IT SOUNDS, BY THE WAY.
When we arrived back on the scene the lineup was considerably smaller (about 10 minutes) but the gallery was packed. And loud. And extremely hot. But the art was amazing and if 90% of it hadn’t sold out within the first hour I probably would dragged the entire show home with me.
This was my first time attending an indie-type of art show, and at the risk of sounding like someone in desperate need of an adjective-usage overhaul, it was rather hip. THERE. I SAID IT. I mean, I was all ready to spend my Saturday night crocheting some sweaters for my imaginary grandchildren, and then it’s all SURPRISE!, I’m at an art shows that has a 2 hour line to get into. HIP.
But it was fun and the art was incredibly inspiring, as was the entire philosophy behind the show. I’m not sure I can say the same about crocheting sweaters, though.