Main Street's 6x6@110 project's canvases ready

Published on Monday, 14 April 2014 23:11 - Written by Kelly Gooch, kgooch@tylerpaper.com

Artists and art enthusiasts are invited to use their creativity in producing pieces to benefit the city of Tyler’s Main Street Department.

It’s part of the department’s 6x6@110 project, which began in 2012 and serves as a fundraiser for Gallery Main Street.

Project participants, such as artists and art supporters, use 6-inch-by-6-inch canvases distributed by Gallery Main Street to make art pieces using various mediums, according to a news release. The artwork is then sold for $20 each during an exhibit, which is scheduled to open on June 6 and end in early July.

Main Street Department Leader Beverly Abell said the project serves several purposes and came to her as a fundraiser idea.

The idea was intriguing, she said, because it was a fundraiser that still helped the Main Street Department stay within its mission.

“It is a fundraiser but also brought people to downtown … really gave people ownership in the gallery and also got people to own original art for the very first time. People have come back for purchases after that,” Ms. Abell said, adding that it also encouraged artists to participate since, unlike other exhibits at Gallery Main Street, it is not done via a jury process.

She said the 6x6@110 project also has received recognition from the Texas Downtown Association.

“It’s one of those great things that just clicked on all points,” Ms. Abell said. “It just sparked, and people love this thing. Even in January people are saying, ‘Do you have the canvases yet?’”

She said anyone may participate in the 6x6@110 project, “from professional artists to someone who has never picked up a paintbrush.”

In the past, Ms. Abell said people have used oils, acrylics, photography, beads and watercolors, among other things, to make their pieces.

It’s essentially “whatever art you can create,” she said.

However, there are some guidelines.

Ms. Abell said each piece must be on a canvas provided by the Main Street Department because it helps as far as processing and hanging the pieces. Pieces also may not project outside of the 6-inch-by-6-inch range but may project from it by 2 inches or less, she said.

Part of the project fun, she said, is that buyers are not allowed to touch or look at the back of pieces until they buy them, so they don’t know who created the artwork until they purchase it.

Canvases must be turned in at the gallery by 4 p.m. on May 31, according to a news release. Those age 18 and older may complete three pieces, turn them in and then get three more canvases, she said. Those age 17 and younger will receive one canvas for the project.

Leading up to the exhibit, Ms. Abell said community members have the opportunity to check out a “painting party in a box” kit, which would include 30 canvases for 10 people to complete. She said painting parties also are planned at the gallery, where people can paint with assistance from artists.

Additionally, she said, those who don’t want to paint may volunteer to help hang the exhibit during the week of June 1 to 6.

Ms. Abell said the gallery windows will be covered by June 2, and then the windows will be uncovered on June 6.

She said it’s worth coming back to the exhibit after the opening day because there may be pieces that the individual didn’t see before.

This year, Ms. Abell hopes to have 1,500 canvases turned in.

For more information on the project go towww.down towntylerarts.com, or call Gallery Main Street at 903-593-6905 or at the gallery, 110 W. Erwin St.