Greenpoint Gazette
Jeff Mann
Aycock and McDermid at last year's WAGMAG fundraiser

Win a Work of Art and Support Brooklyn Arts at WAGMAG Benefit

BY Danika Fears

Calling all art lovers! The creators of Brooklyn art guide WAGMAG will host their 10th annual benefit on May 27 at Kunsthalle Galapagos to raise funds for the monthly magazine – and bring together galleries from across the borough.

“All of these galleries get caught up in their own thing,” WAGMAG co-founder Daniel Aycock told the Gazette. “It gives you a good idea of what’s being shown around.”

While guests don’t have to buy a raffle ticket to get inside, the benefit will revolve around a drawing that Aycock calls “a performance in itself.” The WAGMAG creators concocted a “loud” raffle machine made from a water cooler attached to a silver-painted shop-vac that will blow the tickets around – and silence the crowd.

“It’s quite unusual looking,” Aycock said. “It kind of looks like a robot from a 1950s movie.”

The first person picked from the bunch can take home any piece of art on the event’s walls. The next name chosen will have the next pick, and so on.

Local galleries and artists donated each of the 100 or so pieces that will be on display and raffled off. While raffle tickets aren’t cheap at $200 in advance ($250 at the door), Aycock said that most of the artworks are worth far more – some could even sell for thousands of dollars. Anyone with $10,000 to kill can opt to purchase the “poacher prize,” which grants that person the right to pick any piece of art before the raffle begins.

Many of the pieces were donated by artists who also run galleries, including Jen Hitchings of Associated in Bushwick, conceptual artist Lisa Levy, and Randall Harris of Figureworks, among many more.

“It’s fun,” Aycock said. “It gets people from all the galleries to come out. It’s kind of like a weird networking thing in a way.”

“A lot of different groups are represented,” he added.

At the benefit, guest can look at the art – and watch it dwindle as the raffle progresses – while sipping on beer and wine from Brooklyn Lager and Brooklyn Oenology Winery, both sponsors of the event.

Most of the money raised will go towards the printing costs of WAGMAG, a magazine that’s has been around since 2001. After opening Front Room Gallery in Williamsburg, Aycock started the monthly listing publication with Jill McDermid as a way to help visitors navigate the growing gallery scene in North Brooklyn.

“People were still afraid to come out to Williamsburg,” Aycock said. “We’d have openings, and people would get there and they wouldn’t know where else to go.”

That, of course, is no longer the case. WAGMAG now covers several neighborhoods around Brooklyn, and Aycock tries to organize the benefit in a different area every year to reflect that diversity.

This year, the benefit is being held at Kunsthalle Galapagos (“kunsthalle” means art hall in German), a lofty art space with vaulted ceilings in DUMBO.

Tickets for WAGMAG Benefit 2014 are available at Further information can be found here:


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