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Art4Art benefit sale a window to the world in 8-by-8-inch squares

So many windows on this big world, such compact little spaces. Eight inches by 8 inches, to be precise.

If you’re looking for a unique, handmade, artistic gift for someone special this holiday season, look no further than tonight’s First Friday art sale at the Vancouver Community Library. This is the fourth year that its auxiliary “Friends of” group will host a large sale of small artworks created by artists of all stripes in this community, from ambitious amateurs to polished pros.

The latter are better represented than ever in this group of 240-plus donated artworks, Senior Public Services Librarian Beth Wood said. “There’s definitely a quality jump this year,” she said.

But, in keeping with the communal spirit of the event, the library encourages you to fall in love with some artwork spontaneously, and not worry about its provenance.

“The artists’ names are on the backs, if they chose to include them,” Wood said. “But it would be a little undermining if people came in wanting to turn over every panel” because they cared less about artists’ creations than about their names, she said.

The Friends of Vancouver Community Library group bought the wood, and the library contracted to have it sawed into 8-by-8 sections, Wood said. (If anyone wants to donate wood and sawing services next year, she added, that would help this benefit actually benefit the library and its art projects even more.) Many local art societies, art schools and downtown artists took the panels, added their artworks and gave the final results back for sale.

“There are a lot more 3D-type panels this year” featuring sculpture, ceramics and mosaics, Wood said.

So far, she said, Art4Art sales have paid for gallery-style railings for art displays. This year’s proceeds may help bring more performing-arts experiences to the library, she said.

“We don’t have a specific plan but we’re hoping to improve our presence in the arts community,” she said.

The Art4Art fundraiser is set for 5 to 8 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Vancouver Community Library, 901 C. St.

Artworks are $30 each.

“The premise we started this on was, let’s make original art affordable for everyone,” Wood said.


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