Saturday, 19 July 2014

Challenge #13, selling monster heels...

Anne and Zena admiring Jackie in Cadmium Orange by Z. Mair

Lucky challenge 13...selling art. Well...wandering round in very high heels with big teeth painted on the toes and bloodshot eyes drawn monster heels I call them. And I love them. They are pieces of art unto themselves. And did I actually sell anything? Or did I just blab and blab and blab away about Milly's collection, a collection I know from personal experience to be irresistible? Regardless, people came, people bought and the event was a roaring success for the library. Maybe I should start from the beginning....

work by Paul Lemmon
On an unusually warm Bank Holiday in May, Craig and I went along to the International Art Fair at the Royal College of Art, next to the Royal Albert Hall. Of course we saw Milly Girardot (Longin) and her fabulous Art Movement stand. As anyone who has been to our house knows, we have fallen in love with much of The Art Movement art over the years. Art shows are about admiring art. They are also about chatting. And chatting we did. Lots. And suddenly, a crazy idea. Milly's summer show,  she wanted something more exciting. A fundraiser, perhaps. A fundraiser for the library? A share in the commissions if I would help? "Why yes," I answered, and knowing her inability to say "no," I immediately rang Lucinda. Could we have an art show in her gorgeous brand new house in Clapham?  Make it the "event" of the summer term season. Milly would hang Lucinda's collection after the show, as part of the deal. We would have it over 2 days and an evening, with wine and nibbles, and get the whole Broomwood, Northcote, SW London crowd in. The plan came together. Invites out.

The show included sculpture, works on paper and painting

Milly with Sarah and her art

On the day, Lucinda's house looked beautiful, Milly hung the show spectacularly and we hoped at least one person would show up....and before we had even finished arranging the flowers the first knock came at the door. The fabulous Sarah Aird, fresh from collecting her parents from the airport, stopped in. Kisses all round, bit of gossip, she admired, BOUGHT 5 PIECES and was gone. Wow!

"And so it begins....." we said to each other. And for the remainder of the day in they came. The curious, the supportive, the nosy, the eager buyers....those red dots started to appear on work after work after work....and then it was wine time and people really showed up. And bought. And drank. And chatted. And bought more. It was incredible.

I talked about the libary, people asked questions, wanted to know more, wanted to get involved...the sense of community was incredible. I felt extremely blessed.

The next morning, rather bleary-eyed, we flung open the doors again and much to our surprise people kept coming and kept buying. When Milly finally finished all the accounts she gave me an astounding     £3,070. I was overwhelmed and very, very happy. Milly was happy because not only had she sold a lot of art, but she now had a whole new client list. And Lucinda was happy because the event was a fantastic success!! I am sure there is some cliche that sums up this situation, but I can't think of it.

Instead I must say how grateful and honoured and pleased I am.  I know everyone will enjoy their gorgeous art, and the library is almost completely funded. Amazing. Thank you all.

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