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Something for everyone

Last modified: 6/17/2010 12:00:00 AM
Art? Art can be a hard thing to bring into your house. You have to find that exactly right thing that speaks to you - not only does it, say, fit with your loveseat, but it fits with your psyche, your heart, it must be in rhythm with the secret beats of your soul. And the price has to be a fit too. You may be enchanted with Vincent Van Gogh's Vase With Fifteen Sunflowers, but you may be a tad short of the $39 million price tag.

A solution is at hand. This weekend, the Kimball-Jenkins Estate is hosting Art for Everyone, an offering by the nonprofit Goodwill Industries. It's an effort to raise money and profile for Goodwill, but also part of a broader scheme to make art as accessible to everybody as other basic items.

While this is the fourth year Goodwill has offered the event, this will be the first held in Concord, where the organization has a significant presence, primarily through its Loudon Road store. The last three art offerings were held in Portland, Maine - the organization's home base - and were often coordinated with broader Portland art celebrations.

This time around though, Goodwill has decided to try Art For Everyone here in Concord, with the dozens of works displayed (and for sale) at the Kimball-Jenkins Estate. The event is made possible thanks to the generosity of Kimball-Jenkins as well as Delta Dental.

"The fact is our stores get a lot of really good art donated every year," said Michelle Smith, communications director for Goodwill Industries. "Our clerks have gotten very good at this point at recognizing quality, skill, in some of the oils, watercolors, posters, and prints we receive, and they put them aside now for this event."

While there aren't any Van Goghs in the show - probably, anyway - there are some very decent works and some sure to have local appeal, including a view of the Mount Washington Valley by Richard Gordon Packer that will be raffled.

There are several distinctly New Hampshire-themed pieces, including

The Old Man in the Mountain and Mount Washington. The focus is on quality, not kitsch, and so it's like all good art - every bit of it may not speak to you, but a few pieces surely will.

And the great thing is that because Goodwill's mission - in fact, its name for the event - is Art for Everyone, you will be able to respond to that inner voice when it speaks.

While some pieces will be priced at a higher rate - say, $75 or $100 or $150 - most works are deliberately priced at $50 or less. Some pieces are $5 or $10.

"This is exactly the point - to take that notion, that concept of that high-end art show - the kind that tends to draw only a certain type of person - and open the concept up to everyone," Smith said.

Many of the pieces come in with little information attached, and Smith said that some of her staff members happily donate some time to researching artists, styles, time periods, and values.

"Its been a great effort all around. So many people have put hours and hours into this," Smith said.

The previous three Art for Everyone events have raised between $10,000 and $13,000.

(Art For Everyone takes place tomorrow from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Kimball-Jenkins Estate.)


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