Lexington's party scene gets sizzling Saturday evening with Art Fever, a fund-raiser for the Lexington Art League that aims to put original art in the hands of the community.
"It's a wonderful way to start collecting for those of us who are bargain hunters," said Nancy Barron, whose company, Nancy Barron & Associates, has sponsored the event for the past four years. "But it's still a way to a buy a ticket and have a wonderful evening."
Far from a stuffy charity function, the event is the culmination of the Art Fever gallery exhibit, featuring about 120 artists who donated works of art valued at more than $300 each. Items range from oils and photography to jewelry and ceramics.
It's the perfect opportunity if you long for unique art but perhaps feel intimidated by the prices or the process of finding a piece. The event will feature silent and live auctions and what past party-goers describe as a rip-roaring reverse raffle, during which ticket holders take their pick of pieces from the exhibit as their turn is called.
"This is a fun way to do it," said Barron, a collector who said she still gets a thrill when the art goes to its new owners. "And beginning artists have really gotten a following by being introduced."
Elizabeth Foley of Lexington was inspired by past Art Fever events to donate one of her own pieces for this year's exhibit.
"After being (there) the last couple of years and watching people strategize about what they're choosing," she said, "I thought it was just a great way to get your work out there."
But you don't have to hail from the Bluegrass to see the opportunities in Art Fever.
Jon Ros, a New York painter, spotted an online post about the exhibit and donated his charcoal Untitled Landscape. He had shown his work before with the Lexington Art League, "and based on that, I wanted to help support them," he said.
"Artists have to take command of their own destiny," he said. "There's nothing more important than those community art groups that make it available for anyone to own a piece of original artwork.
"It's great to be a part of it."