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How to support local arts, artists without blowing your budget

Buffalo Arts Studio's annual Live on Five art auction officially starts Thursday night at 5 p.m., and continues through Saturday.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — What if we were to tell you there's a way to support the arts and artists here in Buffalo, without feeling intimidated, blowing your budget or even leaving your house? Because there is.

Starting Thursday at 5 p.m., Buffalo Arts Studio's annual Live on Five art auction begins. Two-hundred artists, mostly from here in Western New York, have created 775 works of art.

"You can have something special handmade by somebody in our community for as little as $25," said Shirley Verrico, curator of Buffalo Arts Studio.

All the pieces are 5 inches by 5 inches. Together they make for a real life Instagram grid, easily fit in any living space and just about any budget.

The opening bid for each piece is $25 and no piece will be sold for more than $250. You can get in on it by getting a bid number on buffaloartsstudios.org. The whole idea is that it's easy, accessible and not intimidating.

"It is really just as easy as a couple of clicks," Shirley said. "And at the end of the event you'll be notified if you've won. Also, you get notified during the event if you get outbid. And it's really quick, when you're winning, you get a thumbs up and when you get out bid you get a thumbs down. So it's sort of addictive in the best sort of way."

Everyone who brings one of these pieces of art into their homes helps support the Buffalo Arts Studio's mission to provide safe spaces for artists to work in Buffalo, classes for the public to learn and free access to art for the community to enjoy.

"During these economic times, it's important to us that everyone feels like they can come in here and be welcomed," Shirley said. "And you know, have their spirits lifted and engage in something outside of maybe the four walls that they've been living in for the last 14 or 15 months."

Live on Five 2021 officially begins Thursday night at 5 p.m. and runs until Saturday.

All the artwork is currently on display at the Buffalo Arts Studio. And this year, you can actually go see it. They are located on the fifth floor of the Tri-Main Building on Main Street and with 20,000 square feet of space, there's plenty of room for social distancing. They do require you to wear a mask.

For more information, click here.