The Walton Foundation for Independence is hosting its 15th Annual Undercover Artists Show at the Miller Theater on Thursday evening, continuing a growing legacy of presenting the work of local creatives.
“It used to be that all artists were given a 12 by 12 canvas,” said Megan Jackson, resource and fund event coordinator with the Walton Foundation, who has been coordinating show for two years. “Now there’s much more variety, more sizes, mediums. There’s a ceramic vase, a handmade woodcutting board, our biggest piece is probably 48 by 48, and our smallest may be 8 by 8.”
The first Undercover Artists Show was hosted at the Rehabilitation Hospital in 2007, organized by then-development coordinator Vicki Greene. The showcase and sale event exhibits the donated works of mostly local artists, which are offered in a silent auction. Proceeds from the show benefit the Walton Foundation for Independence, a non-profit of Walton Rehabilitation Hospital.
The Walton Foundation supports programs that help people with disabilities live independent lives. Adaptive Sports, such as wheelchair tennis and adaptive golf; and Camp To Be Independent, a week-long summer camp for children with traumatic brain injuries, are but two of the foundation’s programs.
The sums have varied over the years, but Jackson estimates the art show raises roughly $30,000 on average each year.
“There was one, one year, a sculpture, that went for something like $12,000,” Jackson said. “But it was because people really wanted it, and got into a bidding war. It’s not like that every year.”
This year will be the first time the show is held at the Miller Theater, in the Knox Music Institute. Over 70 pieces, the work of more than 50 artists, including Baker Overstreet, Kat McCall, Greg Howard, Robin Raymond, Pat Warren and Katie Honeycutt.
The name “Undercover Artist” refers to the event’s tradition of keeping the identities of the artists secret until the final half hour of the show. This way, for most of the evening, art-lovers and potential buyers must observe and appreciate the paintings and sculptures without knowing who made what.
The $75 ticket, which can be purchased online or at the door, covers hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Bill Karp Jazz will provide entertainment. The Undercover Artists Show will start Thursday night at 7 p.m. and go on until 10 p.m. at the Knox Music Institute at the Miller, 708 Broad St. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/UCAJune2022.