Like many galleries and art centers, the Hays Arts Council has been juggling exhibition schedules, working to provide quality arts experiences, generate interest and engage audiences both in person and virtually.
For our later fall exhibition, we know that to reach any kind of audience, we need to present something unique. Because of limited in-person interaction, we wanted something that would engage and intrigue an audience, give them reason to revisit the exhibition, and provide direct links to artists and their works. And, hey! If we can turn it into a much needed COVID-era fundraiser for the Hays Arts Council, even better! So, the idea for Aces & Eights was born.
Aces & Eights will be an exhibition and fundraising auction for the Hays Arts Council made possible (hopefully!) by the creative donations of artists, from our area and beyond.
With a nod to local history, the title playfully references the iconic final poker hand held by legendary lawman Wild Bill Hickok, who served as sheriff of Hays City and Ellis County in 1869. The title “Aces & Eights” and its accompanying imagery has been aligned with everything from saloons to motorcycle clubs, car shows to wrestling events. It's about time for "Aces and Eights” to have a creative spin!
For our project, “Aces” refers to the artists who've created the climate of cultural energy and engagement in our community and region. They are, and always have been, the highest card in the hand we play, the creative “ace in the hole” and without whom, there'd be no Hays Arts Council.
“Eights” refers to the size of the artworks donated for this exhibition and online auction. The dimensions of 2-D artwork itself is to be 8 inches by 8 inches (depending on framing or presentation choice, the overall size may exceed those dimensions) 3-D work is to simply fit within an 8-inch, five-sided display case that we will provide (though not included in the sale price of the work). An existing 2- or 3-D work can be modified to meet the 8-inch dimensions, or a new work created. There are NO requirements or restrictions on subject or process.
Donated work will be installed as a traditional HAC gallery exhibition, open to visitors to enjoy in person. For the online auction, we will use a professional online bidding platform, which will run for the duration of the gallery exhibition. All works will require a $50 opening bid, with $5 minimum bid increases. Anyone, anywhere can participate in the auction.
While it is only the smallest of compensation for a donation, we will provide direct links to a donating artist's website, Facebook page, blog, or Instagram. As provided by the artist, those links will be included in HAC website and Facebook albums of the exhibited works – as well as with the online auction artist & work info. With our growing online audience and anticipated project interest, we hope to engage and directly connect a larger community with our participating artists.
We know life is more than a little crazy and uncertain right now. . . so, we definitely understand if you can’t participate or the timing isn’t right for you to donate. But if you can, we would be most grateful and promise to create a wonderful event!
Our planned timeline is:
Mon, Oct 19: deadline to receive donated works
Mon, Oct 26: gallery exhibition opens at the Hays Arts Center
Thur, Oct 29: online auction begins
Wed, Nov 18: exhibition and auction conclude
So that we can confidently move forward in planning and promoting Aces & Eights, we would greatly appreciate hearing from you if you are able to participate in this project. And, if you will be contributing a 3-D work, please let us know as soon as possible so we can purchase an adequate number of display cases.
Thank you so much for taking the time to consider our request. We are really excited to present a Full House of Kings and Queens, while bidders play their hands Close to the Vest. But in the end, they’ll have to go All In and Let the Chips Fall Where They May, because it’s Winner Take All. (Yeah, we have now pretty much covered all the Poker cliches. Sorry, just couldn’t resist!)