Mystery Art Sale a Success

Along with hundreds of artists, organizers and volunteers, clad in question mark T-shirts, helped to make the first Mystery Art Sale a $30,000 success. Durell Godfrey

The Mystery Art Sale at Ashawagh Hall in Springs last week, a show and sale of more than 1,100 small works by professional, amateur, and student artists, raised more than $30,000 to support the Springs School’s Visiting Artists Program.

The artworks, offered at $20 apiece, were displayed anonymously, with the artists’ names finally revealed at a party on Saturday night that also included an auction of other art led by Lucas Hunt, a poet. By Sunday afternoon, over 1,000 people had attended the show and every piece had been sold, according to Sema Mendelman, one of the organizers.

Even before the doors opened on April 23, there was a long line of people waiting to get in to the hall and buy a piece.

“Because we had 1,100 pieces, a visitor could have visited every day and looked at every piece of artwork but not have truly taken it all in and ‘seen’ the work,” Ms. Mendelman wrote in an email. “So there was something new to discover with each visit back.”

“Besides donating artwork, we had so many local artists come to the exhibit and buy children’s artwork,” she wrote. “We had over 600 pieces of children’s work and not a single piece is left.”

The show was the brainchild of Sara Faulkner, who borrowed the idea from the Royal College of London, which runs a similar fund-raiser. It was overseen by Ms. Faulkner, Ms. Mendelman, Nancy Rowan, Karen Pardini, Andrea McCafferty, Tammy Krahe, and Claire Condon, with help from the school’s art teachers, Colleen McGowan and Sue Ellen O’Connor, and many other volunteers.

Money raised will pay professional visiting artists to teach classes in the school and cover the cost of materials needed for their workshops. C.K.