Pick with your eyes alone and you might score a great deal at OCAD University’s Whodunit? Mystery Art Sale.
The sale attracts art lovers to buy 5 1/2” by 7 1/2” artworks by famous and not-yet famous current artists without knowing in advance who created each piece of art.
Art pieces are priced uniformly at $75 each with the artist’s signature only visible on the rear of each piece once it’s sold.
Free public previews will take place online and on-site from Nov. 17-19 with the free-admission public art sale taking place Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at OCAD.
OCAD curatorial committee chair Wil Kucey says the sale’s charm lies in its focus on artistic content rather than the individual reputations of artists themselves. He says artists like famed watercolour painter Mary Pratt participate because they relish the challenge.
“The art world can be an intimidating place and seeing all of the works together is a very democratic way of levelling the playing field, it collapses the old hierarchy. For the artists who participate is really challenges them to prove themselves in a much smaller scale than they might be used to,” Kucey said.
Along with Pratt, more than 1400 submissions will be on display by artists like Will Alsop, Margaret Atwood and Lynne Heller.
“People love the fact that you can have a piece that might be normally valued at more than $1,000 for only $75. That reveal once you turn the piece over and see the signature can be a really exciting moment,” Kucey said.
A gala auction
Along with its annual Whodunit? sale, OCAD will feature a special gala auction celebrating the artistic work of emerging artists who are exclusively OCAD graduates.
Roughly 1,000 artworks are expected to go on sale at the Emerging Artists Live Auction held on Nov. 17 from 8 p.m. with a preview starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the gala event are $150.
For more information about the Emerging Artists Live Auction and the Whodunit? Mystery Art Sale, visit whodunit.ocad.ca.