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Finding Minnesota: Art 4 Shelter, Not Your Typical Art Sale

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(credit: CBS) Angela Davis
Angela Davis joined the station in 2006. Angela co-anchors the Sund...
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By Angela Davis, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Art collectors take pride in the paintings and sketches they’ve gathered. Starting Thursday in Minneapolis, everyone has a chance to buy some original works of art, at prices that are truly a steal. But there’s a catch.

This week in Finding Minnesota, a look at a talented Twin Cities artist and the very unusual art sale that she’s put together thanks to the generosity of her friends.

Megan Rye is an accomplished painter from Edina whose work has been displayed at galleries in New York, L.A. and Chicago.

But, it is the work of other professional artists from around the country that has her excited right now — original artwork  donated to Rye so that she can raise money for the homeless.

“Out of the 450 artists participating and contributing, over 50 of them have shown in museums nationally and internationally. Some of these artists work would normally sell for thousands of dollars,” Rye said.

But for the price of just $30, any of these 5×7 inch prints could be yours.

Thursday at the Circa Gallery in Minneapolis, Rye will host a fundraiser for Simpson Housing Services.

It’s modeled after an event in New York that’s been done successfully for years.

Anonymous art, uniform in size, is hung on the walls of a gallery.

The name of the artist is written on the back, so you won’t know who created it, until after you commit to buying it.

“I think that is one of the exciting parts, you are going to be choosing art that you love. You are not going to be reading labels on the wall and thinking what is going to be the best investment, or who is the most important or famous. You are going to be choosing work that you generally love,” Rye said.

Perhaps the oil painting or sketch or photo was done by a nationally-known artist, but it could have also been created by a high school student or college student studying art.

Julie Manworren, director of Simpson Housing Services in Minneapolis, is thrilled that her agency will get a big financial boost from this creative art sale.

Simpson runs an overnight shelter at a church, and its staff also helps place people who are struggling in more long-term housing.

“It is that sense that a bunch of people have said that homelessness is not OK, it is not a community condition that we are just going to tolerate. And there is something that we can do about it. We’ve come together as a community strike a blow against homelessness. That gives us all hope,” Manworren said.

There are about 1,100 pieces of art that will be up for sale Thursday evening at the Circa Gallery, which is in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis. The event is called Art 4 Shelter.

Visitors have an hour to preview the items that are for sale, and then from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., you’ll be able to choose what you want and buy it.

It’s free to get in, and if you do decide to buy something it will only cost $30.

Check the Art 4 Shelter website to see a full list of all the artists who donated work.

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