So, I own my first piece of art! Yes, it’s sad that as a 30-year old I’m still living with posters of my favourite twisted De Goya or framed prints of Rothkos, but to be honest: original and real art hasn’t yet topped my list of things to own. And, to be further honest: paying off school fees and my gas bill have been coming first and foremost so “hangable luxury items” haven’t yet seen their way onto my credit card… that is until recently. Recently, I was getting geared up to celebrate my friend’s 46th: this is one of those friends that has EVERYTHING. So, refusing to buy a bottle of vodka (don’t worry, it wouldn’t have been Stoli ;) and throw a bow on it, I had to look outside the box. After conferring with two friends for hours, former writer for the site, and close friend, Dave, told me about a unique art opportunity he had heard about on his last trip back east (the Canadian East!).

A Canadian artist living and working in Toronto, Randy Grskovic, has begun on online campaign to create 100 pieces of original artwork for 100 patrons for $100 each. Essentially, you donate $100 to his cause and he will create and ship and original art piece to you as a “thank you” for becoming one of his patrons. Having taken Art History in High School, I was always intrigued by the notion of patrons and pictured them as these larger and richer than life beings who deigned to throw money at starving artists to either own them or continue to purchase and help produce their work. The thought that I could be one myself and for such an affordable price seemed too good to pass up. Randy’s artwork is modern, unique and each piece works as a standalone piece for you to hang at yours and as a part of a larger project he’s working on. I’m counting down till the day it arrives!

It just strikes me as such a unique and cool opportunity to support a local and native artist who truly just wants to make art available to us: the interested hoi polloi. To provide some background on the artist, Randy Grskovic is an Artist and Curator living in Toronto, Ontario. He went to my alma mater at UBC for Fine Arts and has shown his artwork and curated others in exhibitions across Canada including the Equinox and Centre A in Vancouver, V-Tape in Toronto, L’oeil de Poison in Quebec City and Eastern Edge in St. John’s, NL. He’s incredibly engaged in this project and wrote me a thank you and followed up to see which of his nearly dozen projects I was more interested in. There’s just something special about being able to connect with the creator of a piece you’ll own rather than buying it from some broker at a show.

His website here shows the kind of work he’s currently creating and you can see if it tickles your fancy before continuing on your own. One of the neatest aspects of this endeavour is that the work you get is sight unseen: while you can suggest a project you’re more moved by, the art that shows up at your house is bought without you seeing it: it’s completely random. And, since this was originally a gift for my friend, I decided to buy a piece for myself as well so we’d both own from this same forward-thinking artist.

His project will focus on the first 100 patrons he gets and will include their names in an anthology he’s creating that will photograph the entire 100 piece collection and have a special page at the front to thank us, his patrons. It’s just such a collective and supportive experience I couldn’t say no. By the time this article is published there’ll only be about 2 weeks left for you to buy so click here and go for it if you want to own a piece and become a patron yourself. Let me know what you think and good luck Randy!