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Artists to donate exhibited works in support of front-line workers

arTHANKS is looking for donations of one or two pieces from local artists to be given to front-line workers in the Lower Mainland

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Say you’re a front-line worker walking home after another day’s hard slog and you stop to look at a display in the window of a local art gallery.

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You lean in to read what it’s all about and it’s about you: That this exhibit and others like it are the work of Lower Mainland artists creating art, for you, in appreciation of all you’ve been doing during the pandemic.

“I think it’s kind of cool, the idea of a front-line worker out for a walk after a really tough day and they come across this window gallery,” Ginger Sedlarova, one of the organizing artists, said. “They look and go, ‘Wow, that’s a really nice piece of art,’ then they read about why it’s there and they go, ‘Wait, I can just take out my phone right now, type in this address, and it’s mine?’

“I love the idea. It’s the best way for an artist to say thank you.”

The project is the brainchild of David MacLean, who like Sedlarova is a former Vancouver Sun editorial artist. He recruited the Burnaby-based artist, and she got East Van artist Val Arntzen and friend of the arts Ali Ledgerwood on board.

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“It’s not the first time I’ve sort of got upset about something or thought I should be doing something,” MacLean, whose studio is in Deep Cove, said. “You know, you can rant and rave about what should be done, but then you ask yourself, ‘What am I doing?’

“The next question is, ‘What can I do?’”

And since creating art is pretty much all MacLean does, offering free art commissioned by local artists was the idea he came up with.

“I thought I could organize that as a gift. It’s as simple as that.”

Through his association with Avenue for the Arts, MacLean is used to doing small pieces; for this project for front-line workers, which is called arTHANKS, the maximum size for wall-hung pieces is 15 by 15 inches, including a frame if there is one (unframed, ready-to-hang canvas pieces are also accepted, but all wall works must be wired and ready to hang).

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Painting, photography, collage, assemblage, paper cutting, textile, glass, wood, ceramics, prints, drawing and sculpture (no higher than 15 inches) are the mediums that may be submitted. You can email an image of your art to [email protected]

MacLean suggests pieces that would normally bring a price range of $50 to $500 as a guide; submissions may be made until Dec. 31.

Once a piece is accepted, it will be shown in public places such as galleries, window displays, libraries, civic buildings, willing coffee shops and perhaps pop-up galleries.

“I imagine this is going to take off,” MacLean said. “People like the idea.

“It just needed to be said out loud and people are like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s a good idea.’”

[email protected]

twitter.com/gordmcintyre

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