Artist donates half of all sales from exhibit to Millerton library
MILLERTON — Well-known abstract artist Harper Blanchet has once again demonstrated his generosity, as he has not only provided a number of his abstract paintings for the August display at the NorthEast-Millerton Library (NEML), but said he plans to split evenly with the organization any earnings that might result from sales at the showing.
Library Director Rhiannon Leo-Jameson said that artists do often offer to make much-appreciated donations if works are sold, but Blanchet’s offer is exceptional, as was a previous donation.
In 2018, Blanchet mounted his first NEML exhibition in which in which he offered a particular painting for what he said at the time were “New York city prices.” The artist’s pricing was spot on, not surprising because he has regularly sold paintings at galleries in the city as well as throughout the Northeast.
The painting sold to a fan who happily paid the undisclosed price, half of which Blanchet donated to the library in what at the time was an unmatched contribution resulting from an exhibit.
As generous as that was, this time Blanchet said he has upped the ante by putting all nine of his 16 x 20-inch acrylic on canvas pieces on the block in hopes that at least one will sell.
“This is a great venue for artists to show their work,” Blanchet said of the library, suggesting others take advantage of the opportunity.
That perspective echoes previous comments in which Blanchet explained that he wanted to support the NEML because he appreciated the kindness and generosity that Leo-Jameson and other members of the staff had always provided him throughout his career.
That includes both residing and working in gallery space in Millerton for a period. At the time he said he particularly appreciated library resources, including computers and the internet, both of which proved to be valuable to him and neither of which he had access to in either his home or studio.
Having lived and worked in a number of inspirational locations, most recently in Falls Village, Conn., Blanchet is currently looking for a new location in the Tri-state region to both live and work in, but like so many in this time of housing shortages, he is yet to succeed.
Of his exceptional generosity, Leo-Jameson said the donation was totally unexpected. She added it has the potential to be one of the most significant contributions by any of the artists who have displayed their work while also providing much-appreciated support from sales.
The funds, she noted, are certainly very helpful as the NEML needs to meet mounting expenses.
“We are also very grateful for the art itself, because through the exhibits our patrons can have an opportunity to enjoy work they otherwise might not see,” said Leo-Jameson. “That is certainly the case With Mr. Blanchet’s paintings, which are bringing color, bright light and energy to the library.”
For more information on the NEML at 75 Main St., go to www.nemillertonlibrary.org or call 518-789-3340.
Work by Blanchet, who is represented by the Garage Galleri at 2 Main St., is posted at www.harperblanchet.com.