Guess Who? – ONE NIGHT STAND RAISES MONEY FOR LOCAL NON-PROFIT BY SELLING ANONYMOUS ART

Suzanne Dvanski, left, and Joe Cicero look over art on exhibit at the 2012 One Night Stand event Paull E. Rubin at the 2012 One Night Stand event Matt Wier photos
Suzanne Dvanski, left, and Joe Cicero look over art on exhibit at the 2012 One Night Stand event
Paull E. Rubin at the 2012 One Night Stand event
Matt Wier photos

Art From Scrap continues to host the largest art-guessing game in town this Saturday with its Third Annual One Night Stand event. For those who missed the last two years, here’s the gist. Roughly 200 artists send in work on a 9×9 inch canvas, all of which are hung that morning at the Brooks Institute’s Gallery 27. All works are priced at $200 and those who buy a piece find out the identity of the artist only after they purchase.

It’s an idea borrowed directly from the Incognito event down at the Santa Monica Museum of Art — a very good idea indeed. According to Jill Cloutier at Art From Scrap, the event raised $40,000 last year (and a similar rate the year before), so it’s proven itself. Plus, as the art is purchased, it comes off the wall. With a total of 400 visitors, collectors come early and so by the end of the evening, there’s (thankfully) not much left to see.

One reason is the extensive list of artists in the show, making it a bit of a survey of the Santa Barbara art scene and beyond. Artists include L.A.’s Kent Twitchell, Michael McMillen, John Nava, Phoebe Brunner, Rob Reger of “Emily the Strange,” Thomas Van Stein, Nancy Monk, Courtland Johnson, Meredith Brooks Abbott, skateboard artist V.C. Johnson and many more. A few celebrity artists have also donated works this year, like they did last year — Jeff Bridges and Yoko Ono.

Some artists keep within their style for the event, so anyone familiar with their work can spot it (and maybe buy it) right away. However, many artists like to use One Night Stand and its anonymous nature as a way to go outside their comfort zone and make a piece to surprise and confound. (This writer, for example, thought he had spotted an obvious work last year by an artist friend of his … only to be proved terribly wrong.) It can also mean that “big names” in the art world can be passed over.

“Some of the most famous artists did not sell last year,” said Ms. Cloutier. “That’s part of what makes the show unique. People choose the art by what moves or appeals to them, not by a name.”

Only Cay Sanchez, the executive director, knows all the pieces and their artists because she has to photograph all for the website. (Yes, after the event, AFS’s site will spill all the secrets.)

This year, Art From Scrap changed its name, but not its mission of helping kids. Explore Ecology is now the umbrella organization with its goal to host “environmental education programs to encourage creative thinking through hands-on science exploration and art discovery.” Art From Scrap and its ReUse store operates as a program of Explore Ecology, and now One Night Stand is a program under AFS. Yes, it’s a bit complicated. No, it’s not essential knowledge for Saturday, unless somebody needs to know exactly where the money goes.

The event features food and drink, a silent auction, and for those waiting in line outside, there’ll be an R&B band, Sidewalk Affair, to entertain.

For one of the artists in the show, Phoebe Brunner left a good quote for the press release, which sums up the event: “It’s very exciting and a one-of-a-kind event, full of surprises. As an artist who does not typically paint small, this is a challenge and a real treat to see what appears.

“Lots of little gems in this show. Last year, we purchased a lovely woodblock from an L.A. artist unknown to me. Now it’s one of my favorite things.”

One Night Stand
When: 5:30 — 9:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Gallery 27, Brooks Institute, 27 E. Cota St.
Cost: Preview entry 6:30 p.m., $125 before event/$150 at the door. General admission 7 p.m. onward, $35 before event/$40 at the door
Information: 884-0459, www.onenightstandafs.com

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