By JAMES BELL
For the first time since 2019, the Hays Arts Council will host an art sale.
During the event, the council will tap into years of donations as it replenishes its coffers following significant costs incurred in replacing the Hays Arts Center’s aging HVAC systems.
The event will start with an opening from 17:00 to 20:00 on August 11th and then continue during normal business hours until August 17th.
“This is the Summer Shakedown, a sale of new and recycled art,” said Hays Arts Council Executive Director Brenda Meder.
She said pieces from “kitch to colossal” will be available during the event.
“Every once in a while people bring us some nice pieces of art, or a sculpture, or some nice decorative frame,” Meder said. “Sometimes it’s even more decorative items that maybe bought from nice design websites for decorators, but it’s not necessarily original art.”
“So obviously, we don’t throw these things away,” she continued. “So we ended up getting quite a few of those stored.”
As the summer art walk exhibit wraps up and preparations for the fall art walk begin, she said it’s a great time to display these items in the gallery.
“We thought this was a great time to clear out some storage, move some stuff around and allow people to be able to get really nice art at really great prices,” Meder said.
And since the fiscal year is just beginning, funds raised from the sale will help support events throughout the year.
“We want to maintain all the programming,” Meder said, noting the annual programming for students in the area along with annual events like the quarterly art walks.
But after replacing two HVAC units and operating on an already relatively tight budget, the sale will help ensure these events continue.
“We operate incredibly frugally, really, as most people can confirm when they hear what our budget is, but it still takes money,” Meder said.
She said the council maintains reserve funds, but the cost of replacing those systems has created a shortfall.
“We actually replaced two of the HVAC units at the Arts Council in the last 11 months,” Meder said. “Anyone who has ever done this knows how much it costs. So that made us use the reserves. So to make sure that we either don’t have to use more this year or maybe fill some of that, certainly support it and have a good fiscal year and be responsible and stable.”
And for those who want to help with the effort, she said the arts council will be accepting donations until Aug. 4.
“If you have something you want to clear, please give it to us,” Meder said.
Donations that are not sold will be securely stored by the council and is a great way to ensure that the pieces can continue to be used for years to come.
“Sometimes you have like a piece of art or something wonderful that you really know is special,” Meder said. “And you still love it, but it just doesn’t fit your home anymore, or you just don’t use it because you’ve gotten other things.”
These items make perfect gifts, she said.
And donations are tax deductible.
She said she encourages anyone who has art that isn’t being used and would like to see it used for a good cause to donate.
“We’ll help find a good home while you help the home of Hays’ longest-running art scene,” Meder said. “So it’s all a win.”
And for those who want to simply view the donated items, during the sale the items will create a unique display.
“It’s also an exhibit because there’s going to be stuff that’s just going to be cool to see,” Meder said. “It’s the ultimate recycling for things that really matter and can really bring some spark and life and fun and color into your life.”
For more information about the Summer Shakedown, visit the Hays Arts Council website, haysartscouncil.org.