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Friday, October 30, 2020

Graydon Sikes and Caza Sikes: On the Road and on Your Computer

Evan Sikes (l) and Graydon Sikes (r) in their gallery. Photo: Mary Casey-Sturk

By Mary Casey-Sturk

If you have ever stepped into Oakley’s Caza Sikes, you may have spotted a familiar face. Graydon Sikes, an appraiser on the long-running PBS favorite, Antiques Roadshow, is one of the founders of Caza Sikes and lends his art expertise to our community. 

Graydon is a USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) certified appraiser and a licensed auctioneer in Ohio and Kentucky. He has previously worked as the director of artwork for Everything But The House and was the director of fine art for Cowan’s Auctions. On Antiques Roadshow, you will find him appraising paintings and drawings, much to the delight of both the audience and surprised owners.

Hyde Park Living spoke with Graydon about life “on the road(show).”

Heading into his seventh year with Antiques Roadshow, Graydon noted that the show used to film in the summer at convention centers, but in recent seasons has switched to filming outside at iconic locations in the springtime. COVID-19 has delayed filming until later in 2020.

We asked Graydon how he came to be on Antiques Roadshow? “I ran the fine art department at Cowen’s Auction, and Wes Cowen recommended me as did Riley Humler (Humler and Nolan) — both are Roadshow appraisers. I got to do one city, and it went really well. They monitor the ratings, and if ratings are good, you get assigned more cities.” 

What is a typical filming day like? “It happens all in one day, beginning at seven in the morning when people start bringing in their heirlooms.” Graydon shares, “You see hundreds of people in a day, when you see something special, you have to pitch it to the producer....It’s about finding that thing that hasn’t been filmed before. 

“Most of what happens are verbal appraisals. I’ll see 100 to 150 people a day, giving them values and background,” he said. “If you see something great that’s not up your alley, you can hand it off to another appraiser; there’s a lot of camaraderie.”

Graydon added, “They (the producers) want a guest to be surprised or learn something they didn’t know.” Not only fun for the owner, but for fans at home!

Being an appraiser on Antiques Roadshow has been a great experience for Graydon. He said he looks forward to filming the upcoming season and beyond. It is important to note the Graydon pays all his expenses to participate on the program, “my donation to PBS,” he shares thoughtfully.

Caza Sikes offers art from about 40 artists, both locally and from around the country. They present a wide array of fiber art, photography, glass, mixed media, ceramics, woodwork, sculpture, jewelry, paintings and more. This business is a family affair, and you will likely run into one, two or even three members of the Sikes family during a visit!

Oakley’s Caza Sikes features the work of 40 artists locally and from across the country. Photo: Mary Casey-Sturk

Artsy Adaptation

Evan Sikes shares with Hyde Park Living how the business adapted while the gallery was temporarily closed.

Responding to the COVID-19 crisis, Caza Sikes moved exhibits online and launched their first virtual exhibition featuring artist Ursula Roma's fine art, metal work and found object sculptures.  Entitled “Fiddles + Flowers” these works were available for sale and could be delivered without contact. This was followed by a second virtual exhibition, featuring the abstract work of Indiana artist, Heidi Ann Harner. 

Notes Evan, “This allows you to view art in a virtual space, it’s nice to have content. It’s good for the artists, who are struggling right now since they cannot sell." This approach has allowed clients and art lovers to stay engaged as well. The gallery staff plans to continue virtual exhibitions indefinitely. 

As for future exhibits, initially they will be outside with room to roam, “hopefully, with outdoor exhibits, people will feel comfortable coming,” Evan adds. Anyone can log on anytime and see examples of art currently on sale and preview upcoming events.

Caza Sikes presents art in all media including fiber art, photography, glass, mixed media, ceramics, woodwork, sculpture, jewelry, paintings and more. Photo: Mary Casey-Sturk

Caza Sikes also does appraisals, auctions, consulting and consignments and has concentrated on the need to social distance for the health of clients and staff. Online auctions have been providing purchasing opportunities from the comfort and safety of home. 

“We’ve been getting more into auctions. It’s been a natural progression; we had a great online auction in April.” Evan continues, “We have auctions planned, most of them are online only, five or six more are in pipeline for the rest of 2020.” 

As Caza Sikes approaches their third anniversary in September and Graydon returns to Antiques Roadshow filming, what will art fans expect to see? Well, you will have to stay tuned!

Caza Sikes is located at 3078 Madison Road in Cincinnati. You can reach them at 513-818-9527 or 

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