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A buyer's guide to the Secret Art Show

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It’s that time of year again – the MS Trust Secret Art Show is about to go live. Since November 2010 the Secret Art Show has raised over £100,000 to help the 130,000 people living with multiple sclerosis in the UK. This year we thought we would give you some handy tips on how to get your hands on the artwork you want.

Please bear with us

We have been running the Secret Art Shows online for a few years and they're always a very busy and fun-filled few weeks. The first year it was so popular that our servers went down due to all the people trying to access the site! We now host the show on a whole different server to give it more power, but it still can get very busy and this means that the site might still slow down. If you have ever tried to buy tickets to popular concerts you might have come across this happening to some of the big ticket resellers out there too. As we are only a small charity we can’t spend lots and lots on the latest tech - we want to spend it on helping people with MS. So if the site seems slow, best thing is to remain calm and keep on trying!

Viewing open now


The week before the art show sale opens, we open the pages for viewing. This is your time to browse through the art and figure out what you like.

  • There are a couple of different ways you can browse the artwork. You can go through them all page by page, or you can use the drop down menu (see picture) and browse using the categories. This way if you want to find another dog picture to add to your collection you can!
  • We would recommend you bookmark the pages of the artworks you like, that way when the sale opens you can go to your bookmarked page and find your artwork quickly. Most will have a bookmark function so we would suggest making yourself familiar with the one on your browser. You can also use good old pen and paper and note down the number of the image you like, then when the shop opens on Monday18 April you can search for that number using the 'Title or number' search box in the art shop. 
  • To buy your item, just click on the picture you like and from 18 April there will be a link to buy that item in the shop.How to buy artwork in the Secret Art Show


So how do you spot the masterpieces? Well we won’t tell you who has created which artwork of course. But we do have a list of all the artists taking part, with links to some of the artists' websites. There is nothing stopping you from investigating their websites and trying to get a feel for their art to see if you can then find it in the art show!


The Secret Art Show will open for sales at 9am on Monday 18 April. Once the shop opens you have to act fast. The first few hours are normally very busy and there is a big chance that the art you have your eye on has caught someone else’s eye too. In order to secure your artwork, you will need to get it into your basket and pay for it. Because many people will be clicking the add to basket button at the same time, chances are that even if you think you’ve got the artwork in your basket, someone else may have it in theirs too. The person who completes the payment the fastest will be the one who receives the artwork. If you put it in your basket and then continue to browse, you risk losing the item you want.

The only way to make sure you get your favourite artwork is to complete the order, check out and pay, then wait until you get confirmation. Sometimes when the server gets very busy, duplicated confirmation emails might get sent out. If this happens to you please don’t be alarmed, you will not have been charged twice for your purchase. 

So good luck and remember to be quick as once it's gone, it's gone! Happy art hunting!

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