From the near distance, Bushwick Open Studios 2015 approaches. Each year prior to the big show the organizing entity, Arts in Bushwick, holds a raffled benefit exhibition to raise funds to make it all happen. Titled “Making History,” this year’s show merits a moment to consider how it will differ from previous incarnations.

The show format will expand to fill the cavernous Storefront Ten Eyck, which hosts the show for three weeks beginning April 19. With a call for 400 Bushwick-affiliated artists, the extended timetable will make for some much needed repeat viewing. This neighborhood has too much talent for just one night.

At the culmination of the show on May 10, art lovers will be able to purchase tickets for the raffle. The extended show time and enlarged venue come at a rather literal price. Each raffle ticket will cost $200. 2014’s price was $80 per ticket, 2013 was $60. A bit of math shows that, with the 150% price increase over 2014, Arts in Bushwick only needs to sell two-fifths (40%) as many tickets to earn as much as last year.

The submission request makes clear, “The profits of the 2015 raffle will be allotted for the production of a book celebrating Arts in Bushwick/Bushwick Open Studios’ 10th anniversary, to be published in 2016.” Artists whose work sells get a copy gratis; for everyone else the price is to be determined.

The inclusion of such a large catch of artists means a substantial divergence exists between the art-market-value and raffle-ticket-price. There will be a few artists for which $200 dollars is an absolute steal. Many artists will see it as a fair-to-low price for their work, and many will be very happy just to be in included in such a prestigious show with the more well-known and better selling talents. It is important to note here that every artist is donating their art work.

More than doubling the raffle price over last year illustrates a metaphor too rich to pass without note. For those who can financially clear the raised bar, this will be an extraordinary opportunity to collect; for the rest of us, well, at least we will get to see the best benefit show yet.

Full Disclosure: I am participating and volunteering for the Benefit Show, I participated and purchased artwork in previous years, and I am friendly with just about everyone involved.


“Making History,” April 19-May 10, 2015, Storefront Ten Eyck, 324 Ten Eyck St, E. Williamsburg. Tickets will become available on April 19.