The Public Can Play (Yes, You) in This Art Game
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The Public Can Play (Yes, You) in This Art Game

Shove over, Bosh. There’s a new game in town, and its million-dollar players, though rather shorter of limb, are limber enough when raising those little numbered cards (with much bigger numbers behind them, of course). Lately, though, wealthy, aging boomers are feeling a bit busted, and it’s not just the old rheumatoid arthritis; the r-word, now murmured around the world, is said to be stiffening bidding joints in the til-now uber-competitive scene of—did you guess?—international art auctions.
Tomorrow, the action’s at home. Art season kicks off with a Heffel Fine Arts double-header: the Vancouver firm will host back-to-back sales in a hotel ballroom here; the exact spot’s undisclosed, but it’s sure to be crowded with blue-haired and bepearled Groupies of Seven. The other two big houses, Sotheby’s (in conjunction with Ritchies) and Joyner, follow with their own affairs next week.
And so? Don’t shrug just yet. Those of us whose salaries (or absence thereof) make us art-scene spectators, well, we’ll make sport of our own at Whodunit? (A sentence we’d be inclined to punctuate with an exclamation mark, would the copy editors allow it.) OCAD’s annual mystery art sale is an art festivus for the rest of us, proffering hand-painted, inked, and embellished works by students, profs, and local art stars alike—hundreds and hundreds of postcard-sized pieces, all for only $75 each. Turn over your 5″ by 7″ find (like the one shown above) to reveal either a big name for such a small price, or one to watch.
The art gets sold this Saturday, November 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and if you just want to observe the art of buying, it’s free. Previews, too, are sans charge or restriction; the public is welcome at OCAD from noon to 8 p.m., tomorrow and Thursday.
And if you’re more social climber than social, well, ist, don’t worry: it’s not all so fairly distributed. Thursday night’s gala preview, with all the sponsored cocktails you can imbibe from 6:30 to 10 p.m., turns Whodunit? into a who’s who of artmakers, supporters, and barstool critics. Tickets cost double the art, but support the creation thereof; to order, email [email protected].
Still reading? Here’s your reward: to win one of three $75 vouchers (courtesy of OCAD) toward the purchase of a very cool holiday card to yourself, just tell us which Group of Seven artist’s similarly-sized sketches went for between $1 and $2 million in the spring auctions. E-mail the answer, your mailing address, and your real name (that’s right, no anonymous commenters!) to [email protected]. [Contest closed! Thanks for entering.—Ed.]
Good luck!
Photo courtesy of OCAD.