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Red Dot was originally conceived as a fundraiser that would also encourage individuals to become collectors of local artists. But a low level of dissatisfaction was developing among artists who felt that well-off collectors would wait for Red Dot when, it was understood, the works would be on sale for less than what they might cost in a traditional gallery setting.

This year, Blue Star Director Bill FitzGibbons is working to improve the model in two ways. Individual collectors are still picking artists and selecting work, but now they are committing to buy a piece upfront, and selecting a second artwork for sale at Red Dot (both pieces will be on display at the gala). FitzGibbons has also expanded the fundraiser geographically and economically by inviting noted Texas and Mexican galleries to select an artist to participate in the show. The gallery matches the artwork with a collector, and splits the proceeds from sales three ways: a third to the artist, a third to the gallery, and a third to Blue Star. FitzGibbons says this approach supports Blue Star's commitment to area artists by bringing new galleries and collectors to see their work at the event. "It's a win-win situation," says FitzGibbons. "They'll see these San Antonio artists, who may then get picked up by collectors and galleries outside of the city."

Galleries who have committed to participating this year include Gerald Peters in Dallas, William Campbell Contemporary Art in Fort Worth, Moody Gallery in Houston, and Emma Molina Gallery in Monterrey, Mexico. The 14th annual Blue Star/Red Dot will take place Friday, March 26 from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $60 for individuals, and $100 for couples. For more info, call 227-6960.

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