Tradition matters at The Arts Company, and with good reason

The Annual Avant-Garage Sale (the 15th edition this year) is one of our top gallery traditions. It is a bear of an event to curate from the point of view of gallery staff, but it's a truly fun, affordable, festive summertime event for the groupies who come every year. Not to mention the new friends we make during the event, we think mostly because they didn't know coming to an artsy garage sale could be such an offbeat and surprising event...so "avant," you might say.

From the August 2010 Garage Sale

The selection of goods is wide and random, though our job is to try to corral the treasures we pull out and try to make sense of them. This year in particular, the sale kind of reveals what happens in the backstage areas of our gallery. Every year is like an archaeological dig with this year's treasures including: extra frames that have lingered long after the project was over; some gear for making shelving; and a few special baskets and boxes used for exhibit props. Our well-loved vintage drafting table and stool have long outlived our need for them, same with a couple of flat files.

Some great white empty frames that need a new home!

Photographs, paintings, and sculpture from estates and/or from our customers who collect and for one reason or another need to bring in pieces that no longer fit their decor or lifestyle or they are moving and can't take it all with them. This second chance for these pieces is a great opportunity for our avant-garage guests to find neat artwork or furniture or related artifacts that suit them perfectly.

Billyo O'Donnell, Last Light of the Construction, oil on canvas

This year in particular, folks have brought us a lot of pieces from a variety of regional artists.

Plus, we always add a lot of truly unexpected fun decor kind of stuff that has lingered for more than a few generations in people's closets far too long and needs new homes. Pieces such as odd assortments of neat bowls, pitchers, baskets, chairs, tables, lamps, some of which are true treasures that mix well in contemporary settings. To name a few: 2 book presses, vintage gold leaf cornices, a rare folding wooden farm table, and 2 sets of sofa chairs designed by Nashville's interior design legend, Herbert Rodgers. We even have signed, limited photographs by Eisenstadt, John Loengard, and others.

Vintage 4-part couch - by renowned Nashville designer, Herbert Rodgers

And then there are the art books and the vintage children's books and the cd's and a selection of classic record album covers (with the records still in them), and a few lingering art posters. Some are signed and rare.

Equally important, the prices are right. And the lemonade is plentiful and ice cold. We give up our two gallery parking spaces in the avant-garage for this one-week-long event.

This Arts Company tradition--our Avant-Garage Sale--continues each year just to see how much neat stuff we can pull out and make sense of so that our guests are inspired to give it a new life in their own lives. Remember, this is a curated exhibit, which means we have seriously searched through the remains of the past year and come up with some gems worthy of your attention.

How many curated art-related garage sales have you been to lately?

15th Annual Avant-Garage Sale
Opening Saturday, August 6, 2011
11-9:00 pm / Reception 6-9 during First Saturday Art Crawl
Continues one-week only: August 6-13