Swap Old Art For Something New at “Hand-Off”

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When you change your décor, getting rid of a couch or table that no longer fits your plans isn’t hard. You can donate it to a charity, give it to a friend or take it to the tree lawn.

But what about a work of art? “

"You fall in love with a piece. It moves you at the time and you might have it on display in your home for several years, but then it’s time to change things up. Different things move you, that’s the point of art. Different things move you all of the time. We don’t always have room, so if you can’t throw it away, what do you do with it?” Angie Hentrick said.

As Uptown Program Manager for University Circle, Hetrick plans events for the neighborhood. She realized her question provided an opportunity.

“We knew that FRONT (International Triennial) was coming. We knew that CAN Triennial was coming. MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) is right there on Toby’s Plaza, so we wanted to create an art event. Someone said: ‘What about a record swap?’ So I said: ‘How about an art swap?” It seemed like a great idea and spiraled from there,” Hetrick said.

The event, “Hand-Off: Celebration of Visual Artists + Art Swap, is presented by University Circle in partnership with MOCA. Saturday on Toby’s Plaza, which connects MOCA with the south end of Uptown district, people are invited to bring one work of art to swap. There will be two different swaps, one for artists and the other for the general public.

“You can bring your piece between 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. We’ll give you a ticket, and that will give you an opportunity to select a piece,” Hetrick said.

Hetrick explained what items to bring to “Hand-Off.”

“It can’t be anything store bought. It has to be created by you or an artist from whom you’ve been gifted a piece or purchased from directly. We’re asking that you bring painting, sculpture, ceramics or photography. Anything that is loose, we ask that it be framed. We ask that you don’t bring jewelry or hand crafts. Hetrick also said that people who bring art to swap need to know the name of the artist who created the piece they bring to swap. “They should be able to tell us (the name of the artist) just so we can make sure that it’s not a piece you bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond, so that we can keep it an even playing field.”

The art will be assembled for the swap between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., and Hetrick says there is plenty to do before picking out a piece.

“You can go to MOCA for the CAN Triennial discussion (starts at noon) or have lunch somewhere in the neighborhood. We have activities that kick off at 1:00 p.m. At 1:00 p.m. you can line up to select your piece. It’s first come, first served with your ticket all the way until 4:30 p.m.,” she said.

Hetrick understands that some people will bring pieces to swap that are more highly valued than others, but what an item might be worth isn’t the point of “Hand-Off.” It’s more about what it’s worth to you, and the swap won’t cost you anything.

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