"If you do art," notes artist Peggy Sharrow of the Corvallis Art Guild, "it accumulates."
And that's part of the reason behind the guild's annual Clothesline Sale of Art, which puts down stakes this Saturday on the lawn of the Benton County Courthouse, 120 NW Fourth St. in Corvallis: It gives the organization's artists a chance to sell off some of that accumulation.
This marks the 58th go-round for the annual event, which also serves as the guild's chief fundraiser for the year.
It used to be, Sharrow said, that artists actually used clothesline to display their artworks, but problems with that approach became apparent every time the wind picked up. These days, their pieces are hung from chicken wire, which is in turn attached to strong cables strung between trees.
This year's show features 29 artists, and offers a mix between relative newcomers to the guild and returning favorites such as Mike Bergen, Fred Amos and Sharrow herself.
The show itself is not juried, but new members are admitted into the guild twice a year through a process in which their pieces are evaluated by a jury of three or four artists. Artists in the sale must also have shown their work in one of the guild's "Hanging Around Town" venues in Corvallis at least once in the last 12 months. Guild artists pay $25 to participate in the show, and 10 percent of the proceeds from sales goes to the organization.
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Sharrow had some advice for people curious about the event: Come early for the best selection. The mornings typically are busier than the afternoons, perhaps because the farmers market draws people to the downtown area.
"I find it a lot of work," she said about the preparation for the sale. "But I think it's kind of fun."
It's also often the only time she sees certain patrons. Some people come by her display and can't afford to buy any of the work — but many will buy note cards featuring the work. "I always think of that when I think, 'Why do I want to do cards?'"
And the event allows her to chat with patrons, and that's fun, she said, even if not everyone can afford to buy one of the original pieces. "I'd be a multimillionaire if I had a dollar for every compliment and chat" she gets during the event.
"It's camping out with your art and your friends for the day," Sharrow said.