A Concord woman struck gold in a thrift store after buying a $10 painting that's been valued at upwards of $20,000.
Beth Feeback found the painting at a Goodwill store near Greensboro and only wanted it for the canvas. She planned to paint over it with her own artwork.
“I paint kind of oddball stuff,” Feeback says. “I’ll like paint a cat head over Jesus’ face on some kind of dollar store iconography painting and then, you know, Jesus is a cat, which is kind of fun.”
But something stopped her from painting over this canvas: a label on the back of the painting that mentioned a gallery at UNC Greensboro and the name of the artist - Illya Bolotowsky, a Russian abstract painter who died in 1981.
“I decided I better you know do the Google because of the whole Murphy’s Law thing,” Feeback says. “If I didn’t Google it, it would be worth something.”
Feeback says she nearly hit the floor when she came across a similar Bolotwsky painting that sold for more than $20,000. Feeback then contacted Sotheby’s in New York, which confirmed the painting’s authenticity. Sotheby’s will put the painting up for auction in September.
Feeback plans to use the money from the auction to pay off credit cards. She’s been unemployed since 2008. It’s not clear how the painting ended up at the Goodwill store.