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Functional Art

Opens: May 7th | 6:00PM

Closes: May 27th | 3:00PM

General Admission: $1 entry donation

Call the box office for more info

239.333.1933

Functional art is generally applied art – art created for use, not necessarily everyday use, but designed to serve a purpose and with an aesthetic in mind. It’s art that serves a or function, but is designed artistically for the purpose of beauty. They meet a need for use, and are works of art as well. 

Occupying that tenuous space between fine art and the everyday, functional art refers to aesthetic objects that serve utilitarian purposes. The genre is remarkably inclusive: it encompasses everything from furniture and lighting to dishes and even books. While the terms “fine” or “high” art typically apply to works that carry an intellectual and emotional sensibility alongside a dose of old-fashioned beauty, functional art infuses these aesthetic ideals into things that you might never have expected to view as art, like, say, a switchblade.

From an art historical perspective, you could say that functional art is the inverse of Marcel Duchamp’s famous readymades, where he transformed utilitarian objects—a urinal, a bottle rack, etc.—into conceptual artworks by fiat: it became art because he said it was. Functional artworks, on the contrary, are highly crafted artistic creations that can perform utilitarian jobs, but that collector’s might prefer to keep on the display shelf. (Why use an expensive artist-made hammer to drive in a nail when a hardware-store version will do?) 

Today many functional art objects are as avidly acquired by collectors as their fine-art brethren, and are appreciated just as much for their beauty as their use value. Ancient Chinese vases, for example, while still capable of performing their originally intended function (displaying flowers), are prized for their historic and aesthetic value more than anything else. 

Functional Art

  • The artist statement is a key factor in the admission of your piece to the exhibition.
  • Upload a photo of your submission. Please keep images sized below 1.5 MB. (An easy way to do this is to take a photo of your submission with your phone camera.)
    Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, jpeg.
  • The artist statement is a key factor in the admission of your piece to the exhibition.
  • Upload a photo of your submission. Please keep images sized below 1.5 MB. (An easy way to do this is to take a photo of your submission with your phone camera.)
    Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, jpeg.
  • The artist statement is a key factor in the admission of your piece to the exhibition.
  • Upload a photo of your submission. Please keep images sized below 1.5 MB. (An easy way to do this is to take a photo of your submission with your phone camera.)
    Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, jpeg.
  • 250 words or less
  • I authorize the artwork described above to be shown at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and for it and any accompanying Press materials to be utilized in promotion of the event and/or for marketing purposes. I understand that the entry fee is non-refundable and does not guarantee selection. I agree with the Terms and Conditions of Website Use Agreement. I, the undersigned, hold the exhibition rights to the submission and am duly authorized to submit this artwork for consideration to be exhibited to the public. SBDAC will pay ARTIST for any works sold during the exhibit no later than 2 weeks after the close of the exhibition. The breakdown of funds is as follows: ARTIST will receive 60% of the sales price for any original work sold and SBDAC receives a commission of 40% of the sales price from all sales during the course of the exhibition. I agree with the authorization terms above.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Ticket Policy

All sales are final. There are no refunds or exchanges on tickets except for cancelled events that are not rescheduled. SBDAC does not offer refunds on purchased ticket. In rare circumstances when a performance may be cancelled (due to extreme weather, artist absence, or other unavoidable situations) we offer refunds or replacement tickets for another performance.

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