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 a traditional exhibition and online fundraising auction for the Hays Arts Council made possible 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 us, “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” without whom, there'd be no Hays Arts Council.
“Eights” refers to the size of the artwork donated for this exhibition and online auction. The dimensions of 2-D artwork itself will be 8 inches by 8 inches (depending on framing or presentation choice, the overall size may exceed those dimensions) 3-D work will simply fit within an 8-inch, five-sided display case that we will provide (though not included in the sale price of the work).
Donated work will be installed as a traditional HAC gallery exhibition, open to visitors to enjoy in person. The online auction will be through a professional bidding platform, running for the duration of the exhibition. Works will require a $50 opening bid, with $5 minimum bid increases. Anyone, anywhere can participate in the auction.
To engage our audience and generate interest in participating artists, direct links to a donating artist's website, Facebook page, blog, or Instagram will be included with their work. As provided by the artist, those links will be part of our website and Facebook albums of the exhibited works – and included in the online auction artwork information.
Our timeline is:
Mon, Oct 26: gallery exhibition opens at the Hays Arts Center
Thur, Oct 29: online auction begins
Wed, Nov 18: exhibition and auction conclude
Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about ACES & EIGHTS. 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, it's All In - and Let the Chips Fall Where They May, because Winner Takes All. (Yeah, we have now pretty much covered all the Poker cliches. Sorry, just couldn’t resist!)