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Northampton arts center hosts spring-cleaning sale for artists

As it prepares to move out of its longtime home on New South Street, the Northampton Center for the Arts has been doing a lot of spring-cleaning. Keeping to that theme, the center recently convinced 30 area artists to do some of their own spring-cleaning. On April 27, the center will host “Unhung: Artists’ Spring Cleaning Sale.”

“Artists are good hoarders,” said Penny Burke, the center’s executive director.

Burke said the center had already made a good start at clearing out its closets, when an artist came up with the idea for the sale. The center put out a call to artists to collect those pieces that have been gathering dust for years in their studio corners to sell at the event.

Burke said 25 artists signed up within the first day of announcing the sale. All of the sale booths — 30 tables in all — are now filled, she said. Burke is maintaining a small wait list in case anyone drops out.

“Our mission first and foremost has always been to support the artists,” Burke said, so if someone doesn’t sell any pieces at the event, they “didn’t lose any money, just some time.” Burke said there will be no charge for using a table. Instead, 10 percent of the proceeds will go toward the center.

Any profits will be used to help with the cost of moving out of the New South Street building — like moving the piano.

“There will be paintings, prints, photographs and I know some of the artists have worked in ceramics as well,” she said. “This is an opportunity to maybe get a bargain.” Some artists also donated pieces to sell and the center will also include various items pulled out of their own closets. Burke said the center will be selling everything from office supplies to memorabilia such a posters from past events.

In July, Northampton’s nonrenewable lease expires for the space that currently houses the center. Burke said that center staff and supporters are in the process of searching for and evaluating properties that could serve as a new home.

“The sale is a way to make a sad occasion a little more fun,” she said.

The sale will be held on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the ballroom on the third floor of the Sullivan Building of the Old School Commons at 17 New South St.

— KRISTA MANGIARDI

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