Local amateur and professional artists donated their artwork to the Muckenthaler Cultural Center for the $50 Art Dash Fundraiser on Nov. 5 to celebrate the center’s 50th anniversary.
This was one of many events this year and The Muckenthaler’s education outreach spans through Fullerton and Placentia, and reaches foster children and refugees.
The art dash was the first attempt at an event of this kind for the Muckenthaler and was inspired by a $90 art dash that the Palm Springs Art Museum had put on in the past.
When guests arrived, they were allowed to mingle and examine the art, but no clues were given as to the identity of the artist for each piece. If a guest wanted to see the item up close, a museum staff member would remove it from the wall carefully, so as not to expose the name of the artist written on the back.
It was hard for the Muckenthaler staff members and volunteers to keep tight lips about the pieces.
“I love to talk about art, and I have to keep my mouth shut tonight,” said Devin Quitral of the Muckenthaler.
Once the guests had enough time to browse the art, the excitement began. Staff members explained that at the decided time, guests were supposed to dash into queues in front of the piece of their choice and ask for the ticket corresponding with their choice of painting or sculpture. If they were the first to request that piece, they would then take the ticket to the register and purchase the piece.
Once the piece was their own, the guest was given a piece of paper explaining their art, the medium it was created in, and of course, the name of the artist who created it.
“We can tell you if they are a significant artist of the 21st century or your local mayor…” said Zoot Velasco, the center’s executive director.
“Or local celebrity, or someone who works at the Muck, or all three,” continued Matthew Leslie, who works as a curator for the center.
Of the many artists who participated, there were some exceptionally distinguished artists who also donated their work.
“There are artists’ work up there who are internationally renowned artists. There are people up there who are founders of art movements [and] people up there who are in the Getty right now,” said Velasco.
Many of the artists who donated their pieces were there for the guests to talk to. Adrian Gonzalez, a contributing artist, shared that the structure and instructions for the pieces must have been limiting for the other artists.
Though the artists were asked to remain within a five by seven canvas, some could not help but let their imagination expand their pieces into bigger proportions.
“I was the kid who got a bad grade in kindergarten or first grade because I drew out of the lines, but I wanted to go that way,” said Gonzalez.
Guests at the event did, however, question how to display their pieces, especially the heavier or bulkier ones.
Excited guests came to support the Muckenthaler, eat, and catch a chance at owning a piece from favorited artists.
Roy Zartman, a supporter of the Muckenthaler, said that he came out for the John Sollom pieces and Steve Metzger pieces. Metzger is a part of the Fullerton College art faculty, and Zartman was very proud that he was able to purchase one of his pieces.
“I got a Metzger. I could tell. I knew his style right out the gate,” explained Zartman.
The excitement of the night ended with the grand opening of the Muckenthaler’s 50th Anniversary exhibit 2.0, which will be in residence and available for viewing until Jan. 3, 2016.