CONCORD, N.C. -- Every thrift store frequenter's dream is to find treasure amongst the trash.
Beth Feeback, an artist from Concord, hit the second-hand lotto at a Goodwill Store back in April.
Feeback, who mostly paints colorful cats, was trying to sell her artwork at a show in Oak Ridge, North Carolina.
"It was so cold for it to be April 28," said Feeback, "So I went into a Goodwill to get a blanket. I thought, 'I have to look around. It's Goodwill. You can't leave without doing that.'"
The unemployed artist saw two large paintings being sold for $9.99 each.
"I bought them for the canvases. I planned to paint over them. Do you know how much a canvas that size costs?" laughed Feeback.
She claimed she actually was about to start painting over one when a friend encouraged her to do a little research.
Both paintings had tags from Weatherspoon Art Gallery in Greensboro on the backs, with the artist names. When Feeback googled "Illy Bolotowski" she was shocked.
"There's a southern expression. I nearly bleeped and fell back in it. I was over the moon," said Feeback. "Bolotowski was a big deal. Some of his paintings went for $30,000."
Feeback bought the 20th century Russian-born, New York-based abstract artist's "Vertical Diamonds" painting for about ten dollars--and planned to paint a giant cat over it!
After obtaining documentation from Weatherspoon Gallery proving the painting was real, Feeback contacted Sotheby's Auction House in New York.
"Sotheby's emailed me back a day later and said we would like to auction it. They think it could go for around $20,000," said Feeback. "The timing is amazing. I have been out of work since 2008. I have some medical issues and my unemployment ran out a long time ago. We have been dipping into our savings. I don't know if this is a miracle, but it's a pretty lucky find."
Through Facebook, Feeback was able to contact the people who donated the painting to Goodwill. She plans on paying them back by painting a portrait of their late pet cat for them.
The Bolotowski painting goes to auction in September.