Remember the public art project last spring in which 18 artist-painted one-of-a-kind doors were erected overnight at various locations in the Gardiner area? Planted in fields, set up on corners and installed along roadsides, the unique and colorful doors invited speculation on their presence until it was revealed that they were on display as a preview to last May’s Gardiner Open Studio Tour (GOST) event.
Lady Pink, an artist now based in Gardiner who made a name for herself in New York City street art in the ’80s, came up with the idea. And now, she says, the doors are making their final appearance for a one-day only silent auction set to take place on the streets of the hamlet during a block party to be held this Saturday, September 26 from 3-7 p.m.
“It’s going to be an art experience like Gardiner has never seen before,” says Pink. “The doors will be all together, all concentrated in the hamlet. And like street art always is, or public art, it will be an experience in place and time. And this is the week.”
The doors will be placed on view from the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail entrance up to Main Street along Arch Street. There were 18 doors last spring; there will be at least 35 doors this time, according to Pink, available to view and bid on from 3-5:45 p.m. when bidding closes. Simultaneous bidding on eBay will end at the same time. (Search “GOST doors” on their site.)
Some of the new doors have been painted by the same artists as before, says Pink, members of the GOST collective of local artists, with others painted by “guest artists.” And on the day of the event, Pink will be out on the street with high school art students and their teacher from Wallkill High School collaboratively creating five new doors to bid on.
Each door will have a different starting bid. There will also be a table set up on Main Street with raffle items that were donated by local merchants, including a basket of cheer from Tuthilltown Spirits.
Proceeds from the auction of each door will go to the artist who created it, says Pink, with it being their option to choose how much of the profits to share with the Gardiner Library, which is intended to be a beneficiary of this event. “The doors belong to the artists and it’s their artwork; it’s up to them to decide how much they want to donate,” says Pink. “The student efforts will be collaborative, so they’ll have to sort that out.”
Throughout the afternoon, art demonstrations will be held throughout the hamlet and the event will include some vendors, live music and a kids’ art tent. The Village Market & Eatery and Pasquale’s will be open and serving a limited menu outdoors.
At 6 p.m. the action moves to the porch of the soon-to-open GLM Farm Bar & Mercantile at 128 Main Street, where light refreshments will be available and the top bidders on the GOST doors and raffle winners will be announced. Depending on what stage construction is at inside the new establishment, visitors may get a sneak peek at what’s to come this October.
Once the block party is over, the winning bidders on the doors can decide whether to take their door home with them right away, says Pink, or lend it out to go back on display on the streets of the area until the next Gardiner Open Studio Tour event takes place Saturday through Monday, October 10-12 (Columbus Day weekend). Whether or not the doors appear in our neighborhoods again for a few weeks will depend on what the buyers decide to do.
And what about next year? Will more doors appear?
“I think that next year somebody else has to come up with something exciting and different to promote the studio event,” says Pink, “because we can’t keep doing the same thing every year. We’ll definitely do something different next year that will showcase the artists’ work. It’s kind of tricky, because not everybody in the collective is a painter. But this is it for the doors; this is the last chance to see them and own them.”