Online auction format a successful alternative for the Small Treasures art sale

  • A previous Small Treasures show at the DubHub. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/4/2021 4:35:49 PM

If this year’s Small Treasures Art Show was an experiment, organizer Susan Stover believes it was a successful one. The pandemic forced the DubHub’s annual fundraiser online, and it was successful enough that Stover is considering a hybrid in-person and online sale for 2021.

This was the fourth year for the December art sale, which features literally small pieces of art, no larger than five by seven inches, made by local artists.

Organizers adapted the sale to an online auction format this year after COVID-19 preempted the traditional in-person reception in the DubHub.

“It was well worth the time and effort that we put into it,” Stover said, enough that she expects to organize a hybrid show for 2021, where online bidding will follow the day after an in-person kickoff.

Although there were fewer artists and fewer pieces for sale, a higher proportion of the pieces sold, Stover said. 55 percent of the collection sold this year as compared to 40 percent in the past, she said, despite the 2020 show featuring 29 artists and 150 total pieces, down from 43 artists and 386 pieces in 2019.

Online sales prompted farther-flung buyers, Stover said. “We shipped out pieces to Colorado and to Michigan,” she said, to faraway family members of locals who were able to patronize the show themselves this year.

Participating artists, including several newcomers, were appreciative for the sales opportunity as well, particularly since there were so few other pop-up show opportunities this year, Stover said.

Stover herself was shocked when she logged in two minutes after the auction went live on Dec. 6 to discover a piece she wanted had already sold. “Within the first 20 minutes, we sold over $1000 worth of the art,” she said. Every person who scheduled an appointment to see a piece in person wound up making a purchase, she said.

Net profits from show were lower, but comparable to the 2018 show, Stover said, despite grossing $3,000 less than  2019’s $9,000, she said.


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