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Art for All
2/11, noon-10 p.m. • $5
Brooklyn Arts Center
516 North 4th Street

METAL WORKS: Local metal smith Mitzy Jonkheer will have her whimsical jewelry designs for sale (just in time for Valentine’s Day) at the Art for All show this weekend. Courtesy photo.

Often there is an assumption that art is only affordable by the wealthy, upper echelons of society.  My friends, it is quite the opposite.

Brooklyn Arts Center is proving as much is true on February 11th with Art For All. A collection of 40 local and regional artists will take to the historic church all day, selling everything from paintings to jewelry, pottery to metal work and all media between. The plus? Nothing is over $250 (or under $25).

The Brooklyn Arts Center (BAC) has become a fixture in Wilmington in its barely year-old infancy. Bringing big-name musical acts to town, offering a unique spot for weddings and other events, and assisting in the revival of one of the port city’s most historical districts, BAC has done as much for our community as other decades-old local institutions.

Continuing in its first year—and with no-less enthusiasm or commitment—and serving as an arts center, Richard Leder, executive director, wanted to host another showcase inspired by the now-defunct Art for the Masses. Founded by local photographer Matthew Dols almost a decade ago and held annually in Wilmington, the show became a staple for collectors since prices were more reasonable because the artist was able to keep all profits and avoid paying commission to a middle-man. Up until two years ago, the showcase was still going strong, debunking the “expensive” stigma original art carried with it. Art for the Masses no longer happens, and according to Leder it’s because “the event had no home,” seeing as it switched locations yearly, from an abandoned warehouse to a vacant shopping facility to a parking deck, etc.

Eventually, Dols relinquished its direction to Creative Wilmington—a nonprofit he founded which focused on bringing public art to the forefront of our city, while also publicizing artists. Unfortunately, the collective no longer exists; hence the discontinuation of Art for the Masses. Though similar events have continued in its footsteps—Last Minute Art Show from December 2011 comes to mind—Leder thought the concept should endure.

“The BAC is a terrific, beautiful space and we can offer a permanent home for the event,” he says. “We are so lucky to have the number of quality and creative artists; the amount living in Wilmington is just remarkable.”

High-quality work remains Leder’s focus for Art for All. To gather artists for the event, he put out a call, seeking those who participated in Art for the Masses, including Deborah Cavenaugh and Mitzy Jonkheer, both of whom will be participating. Jonkheer’s carefully crafted jewelry will display, along with Cavenaugh’s colorful and whimsical paintings of the Carolina coast. Candy Pegram’s wooden folk art—inspired by childhood-like fantasy, including portraits of animals—and Kait Fairbank’s impressionistic and abstracted depictions of daily life will also be sold. Others on the bill include Kinga Baransky, Niki Hildebrand, Sarah Collier and Todd Carignan. In all, there will be a multitude of range in price and style.

Though Leder had an overwhelming response for Art for All’s first time out, not everyone could participate due to space limitations. “Choosing artists wasn’t based on talent because they are all terrific,” he clarifies. “We chose them based on category, such as painting, glass work, pottery, jewelry and metal smiths, so that one genre is not overly represented or overwhelming to visitors.” Thus, folks can expects to see a balance rather than 20 jewelers and only 10 painters—or vice-versa.

The event is going to take on an “evening-out” feel. Leder has created such an occasion by opening the bar and serving food from Long Island Eatery. Admission to the event is $5 in advance or at the door. Visitors will receive a wristband, and can enter and leave, and mosey throughout the church space at their leisure.

Already, Leder is looking forward to another successful exhibit. He has plans for a summer edition of Art for All. “It’s hard for a lot of artists because there aren’t enough galleries to house them,” Leder says. “Owners are obligated, so as to support themselves and their businesses, to sell high-priced work. Artists who don’t sell their work at high prices and haven’t developed the ability to do so now have a space.”

Art for the All takes place from noon until 10 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door, or tickets can be purchased in advance at Mitzy Jonkheer’s studio, 4410 Wrigthsville Avenue, or at the BAC box office. The Brooklyn Art Center is located at 516 North 4th Street.

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  1. Jerry Guba

    February 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    In the past the Cape Fear Camera Club participated in the Art for the Masses event. I may have missed it but I don’t think our club was aware of this event or isn’t photography included.

    Jerry Guba

    • admin

      February 9, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      Hi, Jerry! You’ll definitely need to contact Richard Leder of BAC about it. It reads as if they included all genres, but I’d be speaking presumptuously if I said “not photography.” Richard can answer it for you, though. Thanks for reading/writing! All the best, Shea

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