By Jenny Neyman
A hopeful bidder proposes to trade a family portrait photography shoot for this clay platter by Dinah Mahan in the third annual Barter/Trade show at Kaladi Brothers on the Sterling Highway in Soldotna.
The art show on display at Kaladi Brothers Coffee on the Sterling Highway in Soldotna this month has an intuitive, though unusual, premise — it takes creativity to make art, so why not invite creativity to distribute it?
None of the pieces are for sale. But that’s not the unusual part. It’s not irregular to see an “NFS” notation on a piece of artwork in a gallery display, denoting that the piece is not for sale, perhaps because the artist finds it too precious to part with, or it already is promised elsewhere.
In this case, though there are no prices listed for any of the items in the show, all the participating artists hope that their work goes home with an interested viewer. They just won’t take money for the transaction.
No amount of identification will make checks acceptable here. Credit cards also are verboten. Even cold, hard cash will get a cold shoulder.
The artists spent their time, talents, training and creativity in making their pieces, and they want “buyers” to spend something other than money to “purchase” them.
This is the Barter/Trade Show, where all the art is available to own, and just about anything but money goes as a means of currency.“We were interested in what people would be willing to trade for art if money weren’t involved. Also, just being in Alaska, where everything is more barter and trade, it was more of an experiment to see if it would work for art, too,” said Annette Beck, who organized the art show with Dinah Mahan.
Beck and Mahan were viewing a showing of local artist Connie Goltz’s work years ago. Someone had written a note offering to trade a bag of potatoes for one of Goltz’s pieces.
“And she said, ‘Sure. Why not?’” Beck said.