‘Art 100 Boston’ Presents Hundreds of Works Costing $100 Each

Art and affordability reach an equilibrium in this new contemporary exhibition.

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Works by April Clay, Anna Koon, Sara Reilly, Corazon Higgins, and Ekua Holmes at ‘Art 100 Boston.’ / Photo by Pares Mallis Provided

Art is subjective, and so is affordability.

Curator Pares Mallis attempts to reach an equilibrium between the two in the new exhibition, “Art 100 Boston,” now on view at Piano Craft Gallery. The collection features hundreds of small contemporary works that cost just $100 each.

The 300-plus original pieces were created by 50 emerging artists for what Mallis plans to be an annual exhibition. Each artist was asked to submit a series of six to 10 small pieces created especially for Art 100 with strict size specifications, which helps with pricing and establishing consistency within the exhibition.

“My idea for Art 100 came from Athens, Greece, where I recently moved from,” Mallis said in an email. “I spent the last 23 years living in Greece as an expatriate and was involved in a similar type of exhibition concept, but as an artist. When I moved to Boston 13 months ago, my plan was to exclusively pursue my own art work, but I kept on meeting young emerging artists who had limited exhibition experience. I did not feel that emerging artists were getting confidence in exhibiting or selling their work, [they] were all waiting for a one-person show at a blue chip gallery or opening their studios for sales. … I knew that the Art 100 model would build their confidence and help them with their work.”

The $100 price point was chosen for consumers. “The low price allows for everyone to feel the empowerment of being an art collector,” Mallis said.

Of course, everyone has their own opinion of what “affordable” is, but homeowners who’ve experienced scouring for affordable, original pieces before know that $100 is steal. Sure, you could get a 16″-by-16″ Basquiat print from Art.com for less, but is that what you actually want? Maybe that ubiquitous “Starry Night” print was acceptable in college, but how long before your dinner party guests start to roll their eyes?

Art 100 has paintings, photographs, prints, collages, and even sculptures that will give your space a facelift (minus the cost of plastic surgery) as well as make you feel good knowing you’ve supported a talented artist. The exhibition also affords you the experience of being a real art collector. Those red dots indicating a work has been purchased? You could be the person who bought it. Well, aren’t you a cool cat?


On view through December 21. Free admission, Piano Craft Gallery, 793 Tremont St., Boston, facebook.com.

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Works by Ally Stack, Goce Davidov, and Cary Rapaport at ‘Art 100 Boston.’ / Photo by Pares Mallis Provided