21st “5 by 7 Show” at Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild Goes Virtual

This year, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild is hosting a virtual exhibition. Photo by Dmadeo - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2685967

Now in its 21st year, the annual “5 by 7 Show,” a major fundraiser for the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, was hosted virtually.

“All the work in the show is 5 x 7 inches in size. Artwork is donated by artists with all proceeds going to Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild,” said exhibitions director, Karlyn Benson. As an important fundraiser for the guild, it was necessary that the show be hosted virtually instead of cancelled.

“Every year until 2020 there was an opening party with food and wine and people would rush to purchase artwork during the opening. It was quite hectic, crowded, and fast-paced with over 100 people gathered inside the gallery,” Benson said. While they couldn’t have the crowds (for obvious reasons) The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild still installed the artwork per usual. However they also uploaded all the art to “a specially designed website” to facilitate the online sales.

“This year we opened on Friday Dec. 4, for a ‘preview only day’ for people to look at the work before purchasing it online. We also had the website available to preview starting on Friday,” Benson said. That Saturday, the artwork was available for purchase online and, with COVID mitigations in place, the gallery opened to the public. “We can only allow 10 people at a time in the gallery,” she said.

According to Benson, the premise of the “5 by 7 Show” is a “democratic” one. All artwork is equally priced at $150.00 and no artists names are provided until after purchases are made. “This is a fun way to show both emerging and established artists together in a very democratic way,” she said.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, submissions were slightly lower this year than usual. Because artists in years past have been able to simply drop off submissions at the gallery, some were put off by having to upload digital submissions first. However the gallery still had over 300 pieces for the fundraiser. “Most of [the artists] had no problem submitting work online,” said Benson. “We were very happy with the work we received.”

While submissions may have been slightly lower than the prior “5 by 7” shows, buyers interest was higher than ever before.

“We had higher sales this year than in the past, and sales keep coming in on the website. People are very pleased with the website as well as with the selection of artwork included this year,” Benson said.

Next up at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild is yet another popular event for the community, the guild’s annual “Members’ Show.” “Anyone who becomes a Member of the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild can exhibit their work,” said Benson. 

The “Members’ Show” opens in January. Details will be released later this week at www.woodstockguild.org/membership.html.

Edit 1/12/21: The 2021 Members’ Show will open on Jan. 16 and run through Feb. 28. Details can be found at www.woodstockguild.org/exhibitions/2021-exhibitions/.

About Ethan Eisenberg 33 Articles
Ethan Eisenberg is a first-year Psychology major. This is his first semester on The Oracle. Ethan enjoys any kind of writing, be it articles or creative writing. He is thrilled to get to write and assistant copy edit for The Oracle.