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Are you a front-line worker? You can choose free art – Burnaby Now

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Art can lift spirits, soothe souls, shine light into a world that seems, at times, unrelentingly dark.

A group of Lower Mainland artists wants to share that light with some of the people who need it most: the front-line workers who’ve been leading us all through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The arTHANKS initiative is an art-gifting campaign that provides free, original works of art to front-line workers, courtesy of local artists. Now organizers are hoping they can attract more artists to create work – and more front-line workers to give it to.

One of the artists behind the initiative is Burnaby’s Ginger Sedlarova, for whom the pandemic brought a renewed realization of how fortunate she was to be able to continue her own work in safety.

“I thought, ‘Aren’t I lucky to not have to go out every day on the front lines and work in unsafe conditions, potentially?’” Sedlarova says.

Last summer, even as she was wondering how she could give back to people on the front lines, she heard from a former colleague. David MacLean – whom Sedlarova knows from her days at the Vancouver Sun – is an artist now working in the film industry. MacLean, too, had been thinking about how to give back to front-line workers, and he’d hit upon the idea of the gift of art.

They brought on board two other active members of the Lower Mainland’s arts community: assemblage artist Valerie Arntzen, and promoter and arts supporter Ali Ledgerwood.

Together, the four have been working to connect front-line workers with original works of art since the summer of 2021, via a website where artists can upload photos of available work and where front-line workers can choose a piece for themselves.

Dozens of pieces have since found their way into the homes of front-line workers.

Those people include health-care workers and emergency services personnel, but Sedlarova is quick to point out it doesn’t stop there.

“We talk about anyone who has to go out and put themselves at risk every day: teachers, educational assistants, baristas, grocery clerks … The list goes on. It’s anyone who puts themselves at risk to make our lives better,” she says.

“Everyone who’s out there doing this for us deserves a thank you. And what better way for artists to say ‘thank you’ than through their art?”

With the pandemic showing no signs of ending anytime soon, the arTHANKS team is now working to get the word out to more artists and more front-line workers.

There are about 80 donated pieces of art awaiting homes right now, with work running the gamut of styles and mediums: ceramics, assemblage, collage, painting, photography. The only limit now is geography; they’re confining it to the Lower Mainland to keep it accessible for pickup. (If artists in other areas want to start up similar initiatives in their own community, Sedlarova says they’re welcome to reach out to the arTHANKS team for help.) 

Artists are asked to stick to smaller-scale works (a maximum of 24×24 inches, though some pieces have gone beyond that) so they’re easy for the new owners to pick up and transport home.

Any front-line worker who’d like to receive a piece of art can simply go to the arTHANKS website and fill out an online form for the work of their choice. If there’s nothing on the site right now that’s appealing, keep checking back; new work is coming in all the time.

As headlines fill with stories of front-line workers burning out and taking abuse and harassment from the public, Sedlarova says it’s all the more important to show gratitude.

“We know it’s often been rough, dispiriting and maddeningly unfair, and we hope this helps let them know their work is appreciated,” she says.

 “I cannot begin to say ‘thank you’ enough.”

Want to donate art?

If you’re an artist wanting to donate work, you can fill out an art submission form on the website.

Want to receive art?

If you’re a front-line worker who’d like a free work of art, you can view the gallery online and fill out a request form

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
Email Julie, jmaclellan@newwestrecord.ca.

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Library Line: Parrott Art Gallery open to viewers online – Belleville Intelligencer

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By Wendy Rayson-Kerr

Although the Parrott Gallery is closed until at least January 26 due to public health restrictions, we are still working to bring you art.  We hope that our awesome gallery supporters will sign onto our website to view new virtual exhibitions, participate in online art workshops and register for free Armchair Traveller presentations on Zoom. We’ll also be increasing our social media posts, so please follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to view artwork from our current exhibitions as well as from our permanent collection, because everyone could use a little more art in their life right now!

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Coming next: The Bay of Quinte Modern Quilt Guild is presenting an exhibition called, “Outside the Block” which will be available to view online through our website starting on Saturday, January 22. The traditional Log Cabin Quilt design, generally speaking, starts with a center shape which is surrounded by strips of coloured pieces that follow a specific sequence of light and dark patterning. Colours have meanings in these quilts, whose shapes can be seen to symbolize log cabins with both dark and sunny corners, and much has been written about their connection to North American pioneers. In our upcoming exhibition, this traditional pattern has been given a modern interpretation. The twenty quilters represented in this group show have all used the Log Cabin Quilt pattern as their inspiration, resulting with an assortment of unique designs. Each artwork is as original as the artists themselves, and we certainly hope you will log in to view them on our website (for now) as well as get the chance to view them in our gallery in the near future.

Another exhibition that will soon be available to view online is called “Corona and Friends” by George Kratz. This prolific Stirling artist has assembled a large collection of paintings that he has been working on over the past two decades. He describes his Corona series as, “an abstract journey” which he completed during the pandemic. The earlier work in his Friends series is equally intense, full of symbolism both borrowed and unique to the artist. George Kratz is a story-teller and this exhibition tells the story of vivid colour, strong lines and imagery you will not soon forget.

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Both of these online shows will be available to view in person when we are allowed to re-open our doors once again.

We continue to offer Online Acrylic Pouring Workshops at the Parrott Gallery. These monthly projects are meant for beginners and skilled artists alike, and are the perfect way to learn knew creative skills. Prepared and presented by Warkworth artist Sheila Wright, these workshops are fun and easy to complete. Each kit costs thirty dollars and contains all you will need to create a unique artwork, including materials and video instructions. The January project is a painting called “Rainbow Swipe” and the deadline to register is Saturday, January 22. Please email us at gallery@bellevillelibrary.ca or call us as 613-968-6731 x 2040 if you are interested or would like more information.

On February 19, Photographer Lydia Dotto will be sharing her online Armchair Traveller presentation on the Antarctic. From the comfort of your own home you can take a journey across the globe, for free! “The Antarctic: Abundance of Life” is your chance to view a place that most of us will never have the chance to visit. You can register for this live Zoom presentation through our website. When we re-open our doors, our Corridor Gallery will feature the photography of Susan and Clint Guy, in a show they have called “India: The Golden Triangle”.  Plans for an in-person presentation are also under way, so stay tuned for this next part of our Armchair Traveller Series.

We know 2022 is going to be an exciting year of exhibitions and programs here at the Parrott Gallery, so we won’t let the current closures discourage us. We hope that we will be open for in-person viewing again soon.

Wendy Rayson-Kerr is the Acting Curator of the John M. Parrott Art Gallery

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Eden Deering Started Her Art Career at 8 – The New York Times

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She is the director of PPOW, a venerable art gallery in TriBeCa co-founded by her mother in 1983.

Name: Eden Deering

Age: 30

Hometown: New York City

Now Lives: In a one-bedroom apartment in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn that she shares with her boyfriend, Weston Lowe, who also runs a gallery.

Claim to Fame: Ms. Deering is a director at PPOW, a contemporary art gallery in TriBeCa that grew out of the 1980s East Village art scene. She curates book-fueled exhibitions that comment on social life. “Everything, for me, starts with reading,” Ms. Deering said. “Writers and artists have always been in conversation with each other. Books give me a tool to think about the importance of art.” Her first group exhibition in 2019, “Do You Love Me?,” focused on “the unbalanced power dynamic between those that desire love and those in our culture who have the power to give it,” she said.

Big Break: Ms. Deering unofficially began her art world internship at age 8, when her mother, Wendy Olsoff, one of PPOW’s founders, took her to Art Basel in Switzerland, the Venice Biennale in Italy, and various artists’ studios. In 2016, while working as an assistant at Gladstone Gallery, she started a roving art collective, Duplex, with Sydney Fishman. Duplex now has a permanent gallery on Essex Street in Lower Manhattan. “All of my friends are artists,” she said. “It is why I am.”

Latest Project: Ms. Deering will lead the programming at PPOW’s second downtown gallery, opening later this year a block away. It’s “a space for experimentation,” she said. “We don’t always get to work with the artists that I bring in for group shows.”

Next Thing: PPOW’s summer 2022 exhibition will feature feminist landscape paintings, including works by Carolee Schneemann, women artists in their 20s, as well as some from the 19th century. “Carolee always said she was a painter,” Ms. Deering said. “The general culture does not think of her as one.”

Personal Space: Her mother and Penny Pilkington, who co-founded PPOW in 1983, are still involved with the gallery. “I feel very honored to work for such incredible women,” Ms. Deering said. She credits the co-founders for their clarity of purpose. “Artists need money and space to work,” she said. “And that’s always been Wendy and Penny’s No. 1 priority.”

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City eyeing a temporary downtown art exhibit through grant funding – Energeticcity.ca

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The city is hoping the exhibit will encourage more residents to go downtown and visit its businesses in the process while celebrating “the reconnection of our communities in the aftermath of the
pandemic.”

“This project directly supports free, accessible delivery of arts and culture programming to the community while enhancing the downtown core,” said a January 24th report for council.

The city can apply for up to $100,000 and must do so before the end of March 2023.

Council meets on Monday, January 24th, 2022.

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