A traditional gallery show featuring work by 100 Pittsburgh artists would be noteworthy (not to mention crowded). This week’s online auction showcasing that many locally based artists is likely a first.
“100 Pittsburgh Artists: A Rare Mix of Artists & Works” is the brainchild of Pat McArdle. The former concert promoter and veteran art collector wanted to give local artists a way to reach new audiences during the coronavirus pandemic, which has made gallery exhibitions and other kinds of in-person viewing less accessible.
The auction, through Cincinnati-based outfit Everything But The House, is “a great way for a national spotlight to be put on Pittsburgh artists,” said McArdle.
The auction starts Fri., Dec. 4, and continues through Dec. 10. Like all Everything But The House auctions, this one starts bidding for each object at $1. “That’s a novel idea that pulls in eyes and bidders, because everybody has a chance to bid,” said McArdle.
The auction offers 177 artworks in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, fiber and photography.
The artists range from emerging to established, including many whose careers go back to McArdle’s early days as a collector, in the 1980s. Some of the better-known names include Mark Perrott, Robert Qualters, Penny Mateer, Biko, Ryder Henry, Laura Jean McLaughlin, Kathleen Zimbicki, Tim Kaulen, Jennifer Rempel, Tereneh Idia, and Mike Lotenero.
Artist Nick Bubash contributed two lithographs. He said he’d sold his work through Everything But The House before, but is excited to be in the group auction.
“Oh, very happy to be part of it! With my fellow Pittsburghers!” he said.
McArdle said Everything But The House (which also auctions collectibles and jewelry, among other things) takes a relatively modest commission: 30% for sales over $1,000, and 40% for sales under $1,000. And McArdle himself is not taking a fee.
(Due to technical issues, the captions of the second and third photos above this story are not publishing. The second photo caption should read: "21st Century" is a glazed earthenware sculpture by Laura Jean McLaughlin; the third should say: "Rennerdale House" is a watercolor painting by Kathleen Zimbicki.)