RAP party

Traditionally, the 10x10 RAP (Real Art Party) show and fundraiser is held at the Berkshire Museum every February. This year, the event will be held virtually.

PITTSFIELD — Calling all artists and creative types …

Berkshire Art Association and Storefront Artist Project, in collaboration with the Berkshire Museum, are seeking submissions for the annual 10x10 RAP (Real Art Party) show and fundraiser raffle, being held virtually this year on Thursday, Feb. 18. Artists have until Jan. 28 to submit their work virtually at bit.ly/10x102021.

"We're recruiting artists and creatives to donate and submit works of art that will fit in a 10-by-10-inch parameter," RAP co-chairwoman Carrie Wright said in a phone interview Wednesday. The other co-chairwoman is Jayme Kurland. "It can be graphic designs, photographs, paintings, collage, mixed media, paper, ceramics, pottery or sculpture, both 2-D and 3-D pieces. It's a great opportunity for all artists and creatives."

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the RAP show and raffle was held at the museum, Wright said. "We'd hang the show a week before the opening for sneak peeks. The doors would open an hour before the raffle began, to allow people to view the artwork."

Wright said only as many tickets are sold as there are pieces of submitted artwork.

"This guarantees everyone takes home a piece of art," she said. "It's a great way to get a piece of original artwork. We sell out of tickets days before the show. People clamor for tickets; they love the party. Every ticket holder is guaranteed a piece of original art to bring home."

With the virtual RAP show and fundraiser, Wright said the virtual doors will still open an hour prior to the raffle for a virtual sneak peek and a walking tour. The raffle will begin at 7 p.m. Ticketholders will be provided with a link to take part in the raffle. Those who wish to just view the exhibit and watch the fundraiser, and not take part in the raffle, will also be provided a link. Tickets, at $25 each, will be available only on the Berkshire Museum website.

For the virtual raffle, tickets will be chosen in a random order and the ticketholder will be able to choose any piece of art still in the virtual gallery.

Past RAP events have drawn more than 200 submissions, Wright said. But because this year's event is virtual, "Let's go for more."

"The Crane Room [at the Berkshire Museum, where the exhibit is hung] could hold only just so many pieces," she said. "Because it's virtual this year, the submissions are unlimited."

She added that because it is virtual, artists and creatives will be on the BAA and Berkshire Museum websites.

"Even though we can't be together, we are excited for this opportunity," she said. "As a virtual event, this will potentially showcase infinitely more artists than ever."

Wright said as artists' submissions come in, they will be featured on the BAA website, Facebook and Instagram accounts. She asked that people follow and share the postings on social media. "This is our biggest fundraiser of the year," she said. "So the more works of art that come in, the more money is raised."

Jesse Tobin McCauley, an artist and BAA board member, has participated in the show and raffle for several years. She will be submitting two abstract paintings this year instead of the one she usually donates. The fact that the event is virtual hasn't changed her creative process.

"[The real versus the virtual show is] pretty much the same. There's no reason to change the process because people will still be viewing them, just in a different way," she said.

In 2020, McCauley said more people were exposed to her artwork by doing murals in the city and offering paper works for under $50, all in an effort to make art more accessible to people. "Which is what the 10x10 RAP does; it's the same idea. I hope people will donate artwork and buy tickets to support the cause."

Proceeds from RAP go toward college scholarships for art students, art-related school field trips, free admission to the Berkshire Museum and art supplies for students, teachers and classrooms.

"Students need us more than ever," Wright said. "Due to [COVID-19], our children need art in creative outlets and the BAA can provide some relief. With your donations, we can help. Any and all creatives that want to participate may submit a 10-by-10-inch piece of art. All are welcome."

To assist artists with their submissions, Miller Art Supply on West Street and Museum Facsimiles Outlet Store on South Street in Pittsfield are offering 10-by-10-inch frames for submissions at a discount.

"It's going to be as close to the real RAP show and fundraiser as possible," Wright said. "It promises to be as full of excitement and buzz as the real party is known for. Don't miss this event."

Margaret Button can be reached at mbutton@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6298.