Art Makes Me Happy

A new seascape will soon brighten my living room! Today was the annual Patrons’ Show fundraiser at the Art League. The Art League is based at the Torpedo Factory Art Center here in Alexandria, but for the second year in a row, this event was held online, due to the pandemic.

Here is how it works: You buy a ticket ahead of time for $225. Artists donate works that are worth at least that: paintings, mixed-media pieces, photographs, sculptures, drawings, textiles, and more, about 600 of them in all. A few weeks before the event, Volunteers begin hanging the art in the gallery space at the Torpedo Factory, and ticket holders can come in to view the artwork, or can see it online. You can use a phone app or the website to decide which artworks are your favorites, compiling a list, with the art you want most at number one. Organizers recommend that you include at least 80 pieces of art on your list; 100 is better.

Then comes the event that matches artists to art patrons. In the online version, you tune in from home. A computer randomly selects the name of a ticket holder, and matches that person with the top item on his or her list. Once an artwork has been assigned to a ticket holder, it disappears from everyone’s list. So if the computer draws my name and my first two choices are taken, it will assign me the piece that was originally my third choice.

Last year I was picked something like 480th out of 500 ticket holders, and got a piece that was 110th on my list, or thereabouts. Today I did much better. I was chosen fairly early: maybe 100th or so, and was matched with a painting that was not my first choice, but that was in my top five. I’m a bit bummed that I did not get my top pick, but I did not really expect to. And I am so pleased that I matched with one of my favorites.

I’ll go pick it up in a few days.

I love adding new art to my home!

One of many walls of art in the Patron’s Show. No, the piece I will be adopting is not on this wall.

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