Is Chris Blay’s annual Thrift Art Gallery Show and Auction going mainstream? Nah. It’s just getting bigger. On Sat., Apr. 30, at William Campbell Contemporary Art (4935 Byers Ave., West Side, 817-737-9566) –– that’s right: Bill Campbell’s, as classy an art gallery as there is –– the Second 10th Annual Thrift Art Gallery Show and Auction will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. In addition to the auction –– bidding begins at 50 cents –– the evening will include Blay’s Double-Swan Awards and a short video of the adventures of Blay’s alter-ego, Frank Artsmarter, which includes a sit-down with Malcolm Warner, the deputy director of the Kimbell Art Museum, as a classy a museum as there is. (Reportedly, Frank offers the entire Thrift Art collection to Warner. You’ll have to attend the screening to see what happens next.)
Part of the gallery show and auction includes a performance piece by Blay. On Fri., Apr. 29, Blay, as Frank Artsmarter, of course, will stand for art –– literally. From 6 p.m. ’til midnight, Frank will stand in front of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (3200 Darnell St., Cultural District, 817-738-9215). He will be entertaining visitors on a first-come-first-served basis. And if you come bearing gifts (especially cold, frosty ones from Shiner, Tex.), well, I don’t think he’ll mind.
Blay began the Thrift Art Gallery Show and Auction as a way of challenging the notion that only powerful people can determine the monetary value and historical/aesthetic significance of works of art. Blay assembles his collection by combing depositories of –– let’s just say it –– really bad naïve art wherever he may roam. All of the money he makes from the auction goes toward the maintenance and replenishment of his collection. For last year’s event, Blay even solicited faux-naïve art from local pros such as Nancy Lamb, Devon Nowlin, and Jesse Sierra Hernandez, among others.