Roanoke Revealed

Local artists create while you watch

Local artists create while you watch

The Monster Art Rally is a brilliant idea. Held at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA, it’s an interactive event that invites the public to witness the creative process. Dozens of artists converge in the atrium of the building during two one-hour sessions. All work done during this event is auctioned off for $50 each.  The auction part involves drawing cards to determine the winner. Funds go to educational programs at the Taubman.

Creatives set up at Monster Art Rally at Taubman in Roanoke. Find more at I was surprised to see artists set up at 10-foot tables (2 per). It was difficult to see what they were working on and seemed unfair to the creatives to be crammed so tightly. Although this was a no-cost  event  (beverages were for sale), attendance was not stellar, making it possible even in this format to get glimpses of work in progress.

Curiously, Jennifer D. Anderson ( was the only one I saw participating with business cards visible to attendees. This seems like a great way for artists to make additional sales or build their referral network, I was surprised no contact information was provided.

There was a wide mix of artists represented – from a high school student to seniors with styles ranging from mixed media to realistic to abstract. Some of the participating artists have also contributed wall art displayed around the exterior of the building.

The museum did a good job creating separate space to learn more about the artists. Two large screens were mounted high in an adjoining room that featured a slide show of the artists names with representative work. Portable walls were set up with brief biographies where finished work was mounted for people to see.

Artist highlight slides

Artist highlight slides

I arrived at about 5 p.m., the event start time, figuring I’d miss a lot otherwise. Next year, I’ll wait until closer to 6:30 p.m. to see what’s already completed (the first set of artists work from 5-6 p.m. with the second group scheduled 6-7 p.m.) and participate in the auction.

This event could be so much more. It’s a fantastic way for the community to meet local creatives and learn about what kind of work they’re producing. The Museum extended hours to be open during the Rally, so it also provided a good venue to draw people in who may not be familiar with the collections and facilities. With an appropriate sound system, better promotion, stronger attendance and a more festive atmosphere, the Monster Art Rally could become a must-see community occasion.

Consider looking for it next year. It’s  a fun idea worth the trip.


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