Hanson and Cox

Hanson and Cox

December 10, 2013

It sounds like something out of a “black Friday” news report: guarding the “last one,’ anxious someone else may grab it, asserting a place in line. “It has that manic kind of component to it,” Cody Cox explained. “And it makes me happy for people to get manic about art.”

Fondrenites Cox and Ian Hanson, friends and artists, devised Priced to Move, a pop-up opportunity to buy original art for under $100. It was after a conversation about affordable artwork and the pair contemplating how best to get their own work in the marketplace. “Ian said, ‘I wish there were more places to buy art, instead of waiting for people to ask me for art,’” Cox remembered. “And we said, ‘There can be.’” So they made a few calls, sent a number of emails and asked their artist friends to create works for a show. That was Christmas 2011.

Priced to Move, now in its fourth installment, makes a two-day holiday home at 140 Wesley Avenue in Midtown this Friday and Saturday(December 13 & 14, 2013). (The building, known as The Hangar, played host to the Stray at Home Market during the recent Midtown Holiday Studio Tours.)

From humble beginnings in Andy Hilton’s workshop on McTyere Avenue in Midtown in 2011 to last December’s event at Sneaky Beans, Priced to Move’s roster has grown, this year including over two dozen up-and-coming creators alongside long-time names. “The new ones are always nervous about it, but the show happens and people buy your stuff,” Hanson said. Cox noted artists who have bought others works one year who then wanted to be a part of the next show. “It’s an impetus,” Hanson explained, “to keep going.”

It’s also a chance for artists to show love to their fellow creators. “Most people making art are in this economic class that doesn’t have disposable income,” Hanson noted. “If your work is in a gallery and then marked up so the gallery gets their part, it’s hard to support each other.” That’s why Priced to Move takes no commissions. Cox nor Hanson make a dime unless they individually sell pieces of their own work. They call that community building.

Priced to Move gives artists the opportunity for exposure. Hanson showed for his first time at the inaugural event and Cox for a second time by weeks. Neither knew what to expect. “As a creative you’re scared to put (your work) out there and hope people want it,” Hanson said. “Even worse, a critical response can be crippling. When people buy your stuff, it feels good and it’s so eye opening.”

A summer version happened in 2012, but Hanson said December works best for gift giving. “When you can buy original art for under $100, the givers and the receivers get excited by that,” he said. “And we say under $100, but a lot of it ends up being under $50 or under $35. Art is not inaccessible.”

Priced to Move’s offerings run the gamut from artisan-made jewelry and wood work to paintings and drawings, prints, photos and more.

Last year, by 4:15pm on Friday, shoppers had filled Sneaky Beans’ front porch, just waiting to get inside. “That was weird,” Cox said with a bit of a chuckle. “When we opened the doors, it was a free for all.” He noted the friendly, yet serious vibe of art lovers wanting to make sure they could get pieces from their favorite artists. “I just don’t feel like that happens around art like this anywhere else.”

Priced to Move: Vol. 4 features Carmen Lucero, Ginger Williams-Cook, Chrissy Valentine, Jaclyn Lewis, Ming Donkey, Peter Hammond, Leslie Galloway, Nikki Thomas, Suzanne Schmidle, Azha Sanders, Marsh Nabors, Justin Ransburg, Kiri O’Gwynn, Amy Clay, Whitney Grant, Catherine Lee, Joy Abedikichi, Cody Cox, Samantha Ledbetter, Nicole Stowe, Richard Stowe, Alli Bostrom, Ian Hanson, Wade Acuff, Emily Sabree, D+P Design Build, and Scott Allen. The event runs from 5pm to 10pm on Friday and 2pm to 10pm Saturday.

Friday night music (coordinated by frequent Cox and Hanson collaborator, Garrad Lee) includes Skull and Crossfaders crew DJ Young Venom, Christopher Sandpaper and DJ Brik-a-Brak. Saturday’s lineup begins at 6pm with Cody Cox and 5th Child and at7pm, The Jamie Weems Quintet including spoken word poetry, takes the stage.

Beverages, hot and cold, will be available. Cash and cards accepted to purchase art. Priced to Move is free.

Hanson has added a Priced to Move thanks to Whitney Grant, creative economies coordinator for Midtown Partners. “Whitney is doing so many awesome things in the Midtown.”