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B.C.’s Richmond Artist Guild creates unique annual sale for charity

Half of the proceeds from the Richmond Artist Guild’s “Guess Who?” sale go to the artist and the other half goes to the Richmond Food Bank.

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The donors: The Richmond Artist Guild

The gift: Raising $10,000 and climbing

The cause: Richmond Food Bank

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Arts organizations usually hold fundraising events to help pay for their own activities, but not the Richmond Artist Guild.

A few years ago the group of artists in Richmond, B.C., decided to hold a unique annual art sale to raise money for the local food bank. "We thought it would be a good thing for the community to do something for charity," said Loraine Wellman, a vice president of the guild.

They launched "Guess Who?" a one-day sale that features paintings signed only on the back by the artists. All of the works sell for $100 and the buyer doesn't know the name of the artist until afterward. Half of the proceeds go to the artist and the other half goes to the Richmond Food Bank. Painters include guild members as well as local high-school students and artists from a Vancouver Taiwanese painting group.

The fifth annual sale takes place on Nov. 4 and so far the group has raised nearly $10,000 in total.

Ms. Wellman said the event raises money for a worthy cause but also exposes people to art. "My secret thing is thinking that if people have an original piece of art, they'll start thinking that maybe the Ikea posters don't quite cut it," she said.

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