The thing we tend to forget about the Old Masters is that at some point, to put it in a Linda Richman sort of way, they were neither old nor masters. They were students and apprentices toiling away at the early works of what would become great careers — works that, overlooked though they may have been at the time, would fetch a pretty penny today, let us tell you, even the ones with imperfect brushwork and asymmetrical faces.
Which is something you might bear in mind when visiting the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Spring Art Sale, which takes place April 9 and 10: Your purchase just might make you an early patron of one of America’s next great artists. Of course, it might not; however, you could also think of an event like this — where in the past prices have ranged from under a dollar to $5,000 — as an opportunity to pick up some art not just for the sake of investment but also because you … y’know … like it. The pieces up for sale will cover a broad spectrum of media, from painting and sculpture to jewelry, photography and ceramics, and organizers are expecting 122 student artists to participate, so finding something that catches your fancy seems like a fairly safe bet.
On top of the tangible enticements at the sale, shoppers can also take some satisfaction from the knowledge that the students themselves receive 85 percent of their total sales (the other 15 percent is earmarked for the SAIC Student Association). Better still, visitors to the event will have the opportunity to meet the artists they’re supporting, since they’ll all be on hand to discuss their work with potential buyers. And since admission to the sale is free, it’s also a great opportunity to simply do a little cultural window shopping — even if you’re not in the market for a masterpiece.
The sale, which runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 9 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 10, takes place in the MacLean Center Ballroom at 112 S. Michigan Ave. Click here for more information.