'99 Cents and Up: Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction' at MCLA Gallery 51


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Beginning on Thursday, Dec. 2, MCLA Gallery 51 will offer a selection of small, affordable artworks by local and national artists, priced between 99 cents and $99. 

A free opening reception will be held Thursday, Dec. 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. as part of a downtown-wide evening of gallery openings and activities - DownStreet Art on Ice. According to the gallery's manager, Ven Voisey, this event marks a perfect opportunity to stock up on unique, affordable gifts.  All items can be taken at time of purchase, and gift wrapping will be available. 

"99 Cents and Up: Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" takes its sub title from an influential 1935 essay by Walter Benjamin. The essay, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," has become a standard reference for any attempts to analyze and understand the interrelation of political, technological and artistic development under capitalism.  Since its writing, technological advances have only further increased accessibility to imagery, dropped price points and dramatically shifted the landscape of our visual culture.  Not only has the "aura" of original artworks been affected, but the means of generation and format of artwork has, in some cases, completely changed.  The works in "99 Cents and Up..." reflect or react to elements of that idea in some way, Voisey said.   

 "One of the more peculiar conundrums of being an imagery-creator in contemporary consumer culture is answering this question:  What is it worth?  For this exhibition, MCLA Gallery 51 has put a capped dollar value on it: photographs, photocopies, digital media, jewelry, pottery, and a variety of printing methods will all be available for purchase between 99 cents and 99 dollars," Voisey said. "What effect does that have?  Last year's '99 Cents and Up' show had patrons lining up outside to see what deals they might find.  I'm looking forward to seeing what happens this time around!" 

Featured artists include: John Breiner, Marcel Bova, Jessica Conzo, Howard Cruse, Jay Elling, Dan Field, Claire Fox, Ephraim and Sadie Hatfield, Richard Harrington, Sarah Haze, Denis Kitchen, Henry Kline, Erin Ko, Michael McCarthy, Jamie Mohr, Melanie Mowinski, Liz Nofziger, Danny O, Tristan Perich, Monika Pizzichemi,  Rich Remsberg,  Ben Ripley, Gregory Scheckler, Voisey, Joshua Vrysen, Angela Zammarelli, and more! 

"99 Cents and Up: Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" will be on exhibit through Dec. 30. 

MCLA Gallery 51 is a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center. 

MCLA Gallery 51, at 51 Main Street in North Adams, is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (413) 664-8718, or go to Gallery51.