Fine art

Art mystery

TCA's 'Sight Unseen' may be the last for a while, but it could be the best


The Taos Center for the Arts is hosting its sixth and last (for a while) "Sight Unseen" art event Sunday (March 18).

Organizers describe "Sight Unseen" as "a fun fundraiser shrouded in mystery." That's because the popular art benefit involves the patron not knowing who made the piece of art before it's purchased, and the fun is rushing into the Stables Gallery when the clock strikes 5 p.m. and guessing who did what.

"This year," a Taos Center for the Arts press release states, "approximately 100 small works of art sized at 6-by-8 inches created by recognized and beloved Taos artists will be for sale for $135 each. The mystery is no one will know who created the work of art until the piece is purchased. All works are signed on the back, thus 'Sight Unseen.' An additional mystery this year is that some works of art will include an extra prize."

Each year, "Sight Unseen" artists "pour their heart, soul, and creative talents into creating little gems. Many play with new ideas, media, and techniques, thus works may or may not be easily recognizable. Collectors choose with their heart as they see the piece that captures their eye. Whether chosen for the story the piece tells, for the craftsmanship, for pure aesthetics or all such reasons, one thing is for sure: this is a rare opportunity to own a Taos original for just $135."

The art will be exhibited in the Stables Gallery, but not seen until the designated hour of 5 p.m. when doors will open for viewing and purchase.

Organizers take many measures to keep the work unseen, including papering the windows of the gallery, so no one can peek inside prior to the event.

Similar to previous years, entrance to the Stables will be by a numbered pass, which is available during the preceding reception that begins at 4 p.m. in the Encore Gallery. So, come early to not only secure your pass, but to also enjoy food and a cash bar, meet a number of the artists and get a sneak preview of a few of the works of art.

Also, since this is a last chance to purchase a 6-by-8 inch gem for a while, purchasers will have a chance to win a hidden gift behind a few random works when the work is purchased. Hidden gifts include a night at the Blake Hotel in Taos Ski Valley, dinner for two at The Taos Inn, a 2018-19 The Met: Live in HD season pass, a case of wine (six red, six white), a Taos Mountain Bliss massage from Taos Spa and Tennis Club, a 2018-19 National Theatre in HD Season Pass, a one-off art glass plate, and other prizes.

"Thank you to all our 'Sight Unseen' artists for their generosity and willingness to let their work be sold for a fraction of its value and thank you to all who purchase their work. This great community collaboration of bringing artists and collectors together directly supports the TCA's efforts to provide the Taos community with the best in visual, performing and media arts," the release concludes.

And, for those curious as to why this is the last "Sight Unseen," for a while anyway, Taos Center for the Arts Director Deborah McLean said the event is being given a rest for a while to provide artists and patrons a little breather. By setting it aside for a couple of years, she hopes to help create more anticipation for when it comes back. Given the prominence of artists listed as participants, that buzz could be considerable. Stay tuned to Tempo for when it returns.

For more information, visit or call (575) 758-2052.