Save the date!
300 Plates Fundraiser & Exhibition: Thursday, May 14, 2015 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
What is 300 Plates?
300 Plates is the annual Art Access fundraiser and exhibition. This signature event, first hosted in May 2003, presents unique artwork that is both affordable and highly collectible, created by approximately 130 established and emerging artists from the local community. Using 11 x 10 inch plates (tempered panel or plexiglas), each artist prepares small works in their recognizable style. Finished plates include everything from landscape to assemblage to pop art to photographic emulsion and more. During the fundraiser and month-long exhibition the plates are hung in the Art Access Gallery, creating a kaleidoscope of one-of-a-kind artwork. This year a small selection of plates from previous years will also be on sale.
How can you participate?
Plate previews are held during the week prior to the event to provide art lovers and potential buyers with a sneak peak of the artwork. On the evening of the event during the preview hours, culinary delights, beverages and music are enjoyed in the outdoor tent, and each patron is issued one colored wristband in anticipation of the sale. Beginning at 7:00, and every few minutes thereafter, a random color is announced until all wristband colors have been called. Those patrons are invited to enter the gallery and purchase one plate each. Plate prices start at $85 and increase sequentially in one-dollar increments. This year, approximately 20 plates will be set aside for a blind silent auction, selling from $300 â€“ the sky's the limit. Plates that do not sell on the night of the event may be purchased at Art Access during regular business hours throughout the exhibition.
Art Access provides accessible and inclusive arts and cultural opportunities to many people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate, as well as equal opportunity for established and emerging artists with and without disabilities in a nurturing and supportive environment. Funds from the annual 300 Plates fundraiser and exhibition allow Art Access to offer programming throughout the year, including: education and engagement with art to special needs children and others in Utah schools; the elderly and other institutionalized individuals or those participating in community social services programs; teens with disabilities, those who are at-risk or are otherwise underserved, and young people in the mainstream; youth and adults living in rural areas of the state; emerging and established artists with and without disabilities; and the community at large. Over the years Art Access has demonstrated that its philosophy and programs are successful in uniting and strengthening the community through art.
History of 300 Plates by Joe Ostraff
The story of 300 Plates begins in Thailand in the summer of 1993. My family and I were the invited guests of a family living in Cha-am, Thailand. As part of our weekly activities, we would visit one of the many Buddhist Wat (monasteries) found in almost every community. On one such visit, a monk approached me and gave me a packet of photos of King Rama V. He blessed me and promised that if I incorporated the images in my art I would bring about good fortune. I held on to the images for many years, waiting for an appropriate time to use them.
In fall of 1998, I was driving home from a field trip with BYU art students. John Ohran was among the group. He and I got into a discussion about art ideas and he shared his interest in a project that Ed Kienholz (an internationally acclaimed installation artist) had completed, numbering prints one through one thousand and selling them for the corresponding number. It seemed to me a critical statement on the commodification of art, and John and I wondered if we could give the idea a positive twist.
During the conversation, I mentioned my Thai experience and one thing lead to another. Hence, John and I had a two-person exhibition at Art Access in 1999 entitled Restoration of Good Fortune: One Through Three Hundred and Fifty, with the prices matching the numbered art. Images of King Rama V as king, military leader, and father found their way into all the mixed media paintings on aluminum plates, and the sale proceeds were divided between Art Access and the Sudanese Refugee Fund.
In 2002, Art Access was looking to diversify its funding base since the majority of the organization's funds came from a single source. I was a board member at the time and suggested that we try a fundraiser using progressive pricing, and that we invite multiple artists to participate. Art Access hosted the first 300 Plates Fundraiser & Exhibition in May 2003. It was very successful, and I feel that the Thai monk's blessing continues to be realized each year through 300 Plates.
2014 SILENT AUCTION PLATES: (scroll down to Image Gallery to view)
Brian Kershisnik, Cassandra Barney, David Meikle, Doug Braithwaite, Erin Berrett, Emily McPhie, Gary Ernest Smith, Greg Newbold, Jimmi Toro, Joe Carter, John Erickson, Jeffery Pugh, Joe Ostraff, Karen Martinez, Mark Robison, Nathan Florence, Rob Adamson, Sam Wilson, Zachary Proctor.