Those looking for some local art this Labor Day weekend are in luck, with the annual two-day yART Sale in Bethany Beach.
“We have many friends who are artists and my mother, who lives next door. So we thought it would be fun to have an ‘art in the yard’ sale, which became the yART Sale,” said Julie Kypreos, who started the event seven years ago with her family. “We are friends with many artists and thought it would be a nice way to support local artists, as well as nonprofits.”
Held on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the art sale will feature more than 20 local artists selling various mediums.
“We try to keep a very diverse group of work so we don’t have the same product,” said Kypreos.
When the yART Sale began, it was a small affair, but Kypreos said that, over the years, and with a great deal of community support, the event has grown to a two-day event.
“Some people showed up the first year because they thought it was a yard sale. It was an awful day for weather at our first show,” she recalled, “and some of the artists packed up and left. But a few stayed, and they stuck with us as we grew over the years.”
Each year, the sale benefits a different local charity, such as Delaware Hospice’s Camp New Hope or the Friends of the South Coastal Library. This year, the sale will benefit Contractors For a Cause, a local 501(c)(3) non-profit comprising local contractors who strive to give back to the community.
One element of Contractors’ community outreach includes the Legacy Scholarship Award, given to two high school students attending local schools who are planning on starting a career in the field of construction. Each student is awarded a $1,500 scholarship to continue their education.
“We choose a different charity each year. We chose Contractors for a Cause because they are so generous in helping the local community that we wanted to give back to them,” said Kypreos. “My husband and many of our friends are involved with Contractors, and we thought it would be a good choice this year.”
To support the chosen charity, each artist will donate a piece of art for a “Chinese auction.” Tickets cost $5 for two or $20 for 10. Attendees may purchase tickets and place them in the corresponding baskets for the art that they hope to take home.
“We love to see how well we do for the charity each year. Every artist donates a piece to the auction. Sometimes there are original pieces of artwork donated, and it’s a great opportunity for someone to have an equal chance to win. It’s not who makes the highest bid — it’s purely chance.”
Over the years, the amount of money the sale has been able to raise for local charities has continued to grow. Kypreos said she is grateful for the community’s unwavering support over the years.
“We have exponentially increased the auction total every year. Last year was close to $3,000,” she said. “We get a lot of recurring people. The local community definitely comes out to support it. We get a lot of visitors, as well, and they come back every year. They remember their favorite artists and come back to see what new work they have for sale.”
Artists showing at the sale this year include: Barbara Deitrick, Lissy Chapman, Grant Massey, Damon Pla. Dawn Pierro, Erick Sahler, Bogan Pottery, Cindi’s Soaps, Trudy Fox, Paula Howard, Ann McLean, Kristin Mallery Hooks, Jeffrey Morre, John Donato, Maureen Ickrath, Philip Adkins, Wabisabi Glass, Joe Mason, Julie Urian, Linda Zerfing, Sherrill Christian, Northern Wings, Bruce Shepard and Gerrilyn Gatskill.
Local authors Christina Weaver, Crystal Heidal and Terri Clifton will be signing their books, and Lisa Knicely will be offering chair massages.
“Most of the artists are the original artists that started with us,” said Kypreos. “We also have music provided by local musicians who elect to donate some of their time to come play.”
Kypreos praised Weaver for her willingness to help organize the event.
“Christina Weaver has been instrumental in the show, as well, from in the beginning, to help find artists, music, and running the auction when we hosted Make-A-Wish. She is always the first one to ask what she can do to help.”
A Kids Tent will also be set up throughout the event, for children to visit and tap in to their inner artist, with face painting, tattoos and a special art project.
“It’s very popular. A lot of kids will come and hang out and work on their art project while their families shop.”
Kypreos said she hopes people will take the time to visit the yART Sale and shop for some wonderful local art while supporting such a worthy organization.
“It is a great group of artists and an open, relaxing venue that one can enjoy and purchase local art from the Delmarva area,” she said. “And it supports a local charity, as well.”
The yART Sale will be held at a private home at 33258 Kent Avenue in Bethany Beach, between the South Coastal Library and the Sea Colony tennis complex.
For more information on Contractors for a Cause, visit www.contractorsforacause.org.