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SUGAR JUNKIE: - ARTWORK BY JEFF CLAASSEN
  • ARTWORK BY JEFF CLAASSEN
  • SUGAR JUNKIE:

As of March 18, the saggy economy is no longer an excuse to not purchase rad local art. That’s when Jeff Claassen’s shamelessly named “$100 and under show” kicks off. It’s a collaboration of 15 artists and counting who will sell their work for, well, $100 and under.

The show starts with a party that night from 8 to 10 p.m., and will hang for three consecutive Fridays.

So far, the spectrum of media includes photography by local shutterbug Richard Fusillo; screen prints by Reid Cain; masks by Eamon Winkle; and (no duh!) cute, bulbous-eyed paintings by Claassen himself.

Peg Grady, Alister Dippler, and Gary Elsworth have also poured their artistic talents into the show, which Claassen says will be “cash and carry.” Once a piece is sold, its buyer gets to walk out with it that day.

The show is Claassen’s first since the ridiculously popular “Pascal’s Peeps” in October 2010. Despite that show’s success, Claassen told New Times, “out of 80 to 90 pieces, we sold like 12.” No mistake: Claassen was grateful to have sold that many. But the artist and gallery owner couldn’t help but notice how many people, eyeing a beautiful painting, sighed, “Oh, if I had the money, I’d buy it ... .”

Now, though, money should be less of an obstacle. That aside, Claassen noticed the show has forced some artists who generally create bigger pieces to turn to smaller, more detailed works. Perhaps taking them out of their creative comfort zones—even for utterly shameless budget reasons—will help them grow artistically.

The “$100 and under” show hangs at the Claassen Gallery, located at 785 Marsh St., suite B in downtown SLO, from March 18 to April 1. For more information, visit jeffclaassen.com or call (805) 541-3932.

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