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Dreamer Concepts Gallery closes out 2009 with discounts on locally produced art

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Bargain-hunting art buffs who seek an early jump on Christmas shopping have an opportunity to stock up on locally produced art at bargain-basement prices as Norman's Dreamer Concepts Gallery strikes up its inaugural garage sale the day after Black Friday.

Amber Clour, the gallery's executive director, said Saturday's event is first and foremost a fund-raiser, as it invites artists across the state to donate work to support the gallery. Second, the garage sale will help Clour clear the gallery's walls and shelves, which she said have become cluttered after two years of exhibitions.

"A lot of artists have been leaving their work at Dreamer "? and we've kind of turned into a storage facility "? so anything that has been stored around here for a while, we want to get rid of it," Clour said. "We chose this weekend because it is the busiest shopping weekend of the year."

She estimated art pieces will go for as low as $5 and as high as $300. Since Dreamer seeks donations, the sale will feature a variety of styles and media, with works new and old.

"Some of the artists are making custom pieces for this event, and the other pieces might be at a discounted rate, but they will all be by well-respected and well-known artists from across Oklahoma," Clour said.

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One of them is Debbie Curtis, who has become known for her highly stylized portraits of Barbie figurines. Her work can be found in galleries across the nation, but she sees the sale as a unique chance to offer her work to patrons who might not have been able to afford it in the past.

"I've never heard of an artists' garage sale," Curtis said. "For me, it is a new and neat idea. It offers exposure for the artists, as well as offering a bargain in today's economy so you can buy a painting for an artist that you normally couldn't afford. It will be an entry-level exhibition with some really good art."

Her style developed after she fell out of love with the photorealistic portraiture she'd done all her career and looked toward outsider art for inspiration. While doodling one day, Curtis was told it looked like she was painting Barbie dolls. She said that being able to inject personality into an inanimate object by changing the angle and tilt of the head "? as well as the point of view "? has kept Barbie a fresh concept.

She added that she paints constantly, so she has plenty of material to offer for the sale.

"I'm probably going to be putting in several pieces. I don't know what the price range will be. but I imagine, it being a garage sale, it will be bargain- basement," she said. "I'm going to give Dreamer Concepts some of my paintings that I don't think I will sell, but I also don't want to light them on fire. I do that: I'll burn the paintings I'm not satisfied with. So, this show will be a kind of clearance for me to unload these pieces I like, but aren't among my favorite things I've done."

Artist Garage Sale takes place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Dreamer Concepts Gallery at 324 E. Main, in Norman.

"?Charles Martin

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