Hot Art Wet City Garage Sale exhibit offers artists second chance to sell art

Chris Bentzen
Hot Art Wet City gallery owner Chris Bentzen. Photo by Ben Bulmer.

Bag yourself a bargain at East Van’s hippest gallery.

The Hot Art Wet City Garage Sale exhibit started today as a chance to view art before Saturday evening’s sale. The gallery opened in its permanent spot on Main St in April and since then, owner Chris Bentzen has held monthly exhibits from local Vancouver artists. Saturday nights ‘Garage Sale’ is a way for these artists to sell work that didn’t sell during their exhibits.

“They need to get rid of some of the old stuff,” said Bentzen.

Gallery gives artist second chance to sell art

With 12 local artists taking part and prices ranging from five dollars to $100, the garage sale gives artists a chance to free up their homes and studios and the public a chance to get great art at a heavily reduced prices.

Bentzen admits he has no idea how much he will sell but with popular local artists Shary Contrary, Cherry Thompson and Mark Illing all taking part in the show he’s confident the art will move.

“I hope they’re going to sell,” he said laughing.

Normally the artwork would sell for twice the sale price or more if the gallery takes a commission.

“I’m not taking a commission for the work, so if you’re buying stuff at the show, all the money will be going to the artist, and the artists will be here selling stuff as well,” said Bentzen. “Like any garage sale, there might be some bidding. If two people are going for the same piece and they both want it, there might be some escalation.”

Bentzen recognizes in some art circles reducing the price of your work is frowned on, but acknowledged the balance between art and making a living.

“For a lot of people they just want to move the work out . . . they produce more work in the meantime.”

Making art more accessible

Langara fine arts student Aidan Hanlon said he didn’t have a problem with selling art at a reduced price.

“I think the whole idea is getting art out there and if it ends up spreading it to someone else and they’re able to put it in their home and appreciate it then that’s what it comes down to,” said Hanlon.

Hanlon said the important thing is that someone appreciates your art, not the price.

Viewing is from 12 – 5pm on Nov 28-30 with the Garage Sale at 7pm on Nov. 30. Cash only.


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