The 50/50 Show

No pressure

The 50/50 Show, one of the most popular art events in the region, comes to East Fourth Street's Dredgers Union this Friday.

This will be its eighth appearance in ten years, and the second since the closing of its original home at 1300 Gallery. But the rules are the same as ever. Exactly 50 local creators — painters, photographers, sculptors, and more — each offer up one work for sale. Each art piece is accompanied by a box into which potential purchasers can drop their names. Throughout the night, organizers will pull entries at random; those chosen win the right to purchase the work for fifty bucks — no more, no less.

It would be theft, if the artists themselves didn't put up the works for sale. "The majority are worth way more than $50," says event founder Marty Geramita.

The roll of participating creatives includes instantly recognizable names like Bob Peck, Dana Oldfather, and Derek Hess; but they are joined by many mid-careerists and youngsters too. So in ten years, you can be the envy of your friends when you say you got an original [Next Big Name] for about the price of a bottle of Grey Goose.

The anything-can-happen vibe — complete with a DJ and an after-party at the Greenhouse Tavern's rooftop deck — is meant to attract people interested in art but frightened by the stiffness of formal galleries. "We're trying to reach out to people who want to go to art shows who might feel intimidated and not know what to expect," says Geramita. "We want to jumpstart their experience, and help them find artists they're interested in."

While the artists skew toward pop culture, many sensibilities will find something of interest. Amy Casey's "Tightly Fastened" (above) presents a high-strung image of domestic life. Anthony Van Rooy's "F the Fun Bag" balances humor with an aimless sort of sadness. Steven Knerem's "These Waves Look a Little Rough" makes high drama of a dragonfly on a pond's surface.

It's one-night only — Friday June 29 from 7 to 10 p.m. — at 2043 East Fourth St.

Learn more at

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