Much to Celebrate for Collector Hub: 4th Anniversary Coincides with Famed Artist’s 50th Birthday

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Collector Hub, the Internet's preeminent gathering place for fans and collectors of internationally acclaimed African-American artist Thomas Blackshear, is celebrating its 4th anniversary with free giveaways, an eBay auction to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims and an estate sale of rare and prized collectibles. The event coincides with the beloved artist's 50th birthday and marks 10 years since the release of his best-known collection, Thomas Blackshears Ebony Visions™, which has appreciated as much as 800 percent on the secondary market.

Collector Hub, the Internet’s pre-eminent gathering place for fans and collectors of internationally acclaimed African-American artist Thomas Blackshear, is celebrating its 4th anniversary. The event coincides with the beloved artist’s 50th birthday and marks 10 years since the release of his best-known collection, Thomas Blackshear’s Ebony Visions™.

To honor the triply special occasion, Collector Hub will offer an estate sale of the rarest and most prized pieces from the Ebony Visions collection dating back to 1995. The site will also host an eBay auction of popular Blackshear collectibles with starting bids of just one dollar. Ten percent of the auction proceeds will be donated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. During the 4th anniversary celebration period, from November 7th through Thomas Blackshear’s birthday on November 14th, CollectorHub will hold several free drawings of his artwork. Admirers will also be able to post birthday wishes on the site’s discussion forum.

“In addition to honoring Thomas Blackshear, we want to express our heartfelt thanks to our members for making our on-line collector community a success,” said Larraine Covington, Community Director of Collector Hub. “Despite the international acclaim Thomas has achieved, he remains a humble, down-to-earth man grounded in faith and a love for God and his fellow man. Because of this, we deeply respect and admire him as a person as well as a highly talented artist.”

Widely known for his dignified and uniquely powerful depictions of African Americans, Thomas Blackshear is one of the hottest contemporary collectible artists in the world. His imaginative portrayals are full of lifelike details that transcend stereotypes and resonate with universal truths. He has been honored with the coveted International Collectible Artist Award, created works for Disney, National Geographic, the United States Postal Service and Universal Studios. Recently, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson sought out Mr. Blackshear to produce a poster for the upcoming King Kong remake titled “The Eighth Wonder of the World.”

His current work, which encompasses 11 available collections, is manufactured and marketed by eight different companies. Collector Hub is not affiliated with any of these companies or the artist, but instead seeks to provide an independent community for collectors and enthusiasts. Redesigned in October, the site offers more features than ever in a well-organized, user-friendly format. Visitors can interact, obtain the latest product news and reviews as well as learn about design retirements, special events and artist appearances.

Established in 2001, Collector Hub recognizes that collecting is a very personal experience, and seeks to provide a Web site for collectors run by collectors who understand and care about the quality of the content. An on-line gallery, discussion forums, clubs and email, customized start pages, photo albums, games, trivia, polls, greeting cards and a classified marketplace are all available free of charge. In addition, the site has partnered with authorized retailers to offer products from Thomas Blackshear’s 11 current collections. Because the site is not affiliated with any single manufacturer, its online store can offer a comprehensive range of specialty products and services not available from any other Web site. Enthusiasts can purchase Blackshear fine art, gifts and collectibles without the need to constantly search for the designs they want. Products from the popular Ebony Visions™ collection are available, along with items from The Blackshear Jamboree Parade™, The Blackshear Style™, FlakeLing Tales™, The MasterPeace Collection™, Ne’Qwa Art™, Daddy’s Star Catcher™, The Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Prints™, G1 Media Fine Art Prints™, Kente Claus™ and Clothtique™.

One of the driving forces that makes Mr. Blackshear’s art so attractive to collectors is the way its value escalates on the secondary market, according to Covington. Collector Hub's 4th anniversary estate sale in honor of the artist’s 50th birthday will offer some of the hottest pieces that have been retired from production and are extremely difficult to find. The Storyteller, one of the most sought-after pieces of all time from the Ebony Visions Collection, has been sold out since 1996, but will be available in Collector Hub's estate sale. It originally sold for $410 in 1995, and is currently trading on the secondary market for up to $5000. “Some of Mr. Blackshear’s collectibles have a better rate of return on investment than the stock market,” Covington said.

Many of these sold-out pieces are in private collections. Buyers and sellers who have been reluctant to rely on online auction sites for such a valuable transaction can now find peace of mind in Collector Hub's new Escrow Service. When a buyer purchases an item, they deposit the payment in an escrow account. The funds are not released to the seller until the item has been delivered. Collector Hub has built a reputation with the customers who buy current market products from us, and now we can help them take advantage of the huge secondary market for Thomas Blackshear’s artwork,” Covington said. “It’s all about trust, and that’s something we’ve earned in the four years we’ve been serving our community.”

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