Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Value of Art in the Community


About a year ago I felt a burning desire to get back into art. It had been a huge part of my life but over the course of time had been put on the back burner. I decided the best way to get back in the game was by taking a drawing class. I researched various venues and ultimately decided on taking one of the adult classes offered at Sixth Street Gallery. I had been there a handful of times and liked the diversity of the art and the fact that it was operated by a non-profit organization. Drawing quickly got me back into my true love: painting. I started posting photos of my finished paintings on Facebook where a few people I had met at the gallery saw them and asked if I would consider joining SSG. I laughed, I said no way, I said wasn't good enough. But the question persisted. After one of my drawing classes, the instructor approached me and said, "The whole board has seen your work. You've been juried in unanimously!" A few weeks later I made the decision to join MOSAIC Arts Alliance and be a regular contributing member of Sixth Street Gallery.

Since then my life has changed, grown, and blossomed in so many ways. I've gained confidence as an artist and as a human. I've now shown my work in six venues around Vancouver, and several in other parts of the Northwest. I've sold paintings and been commissioned to do others. I'm preparing for a featured show in the fall. I feel like the artist within me has muscled her way out of the box she had been stuffed in for nearly a decade. And she's getting bigger and stronger every day! I attribute a huge part of this to the nurturing, supportive community of artists at Sixth Street Gallery.

In an age where schools are phasing out art and music programs because of budget cuts, and big box stores are crushing locally owned stores, places like Sixth Street Gallery become MORE important and MORE relevant to the community. It provides community events and classes that are unmatched by any other venue. I had the great fortune of teaching one of these classes last week. On the last day, one 10-year-old girl said, "I can't wait to take this again next summer!", whereupon the rest of the class chimed in with, "Me too! Me too!"

Here's an interesting fact to put the finances in perspective: Vancouver has over 150,000 residents. If every one of them donated $1 (yes, one measly little dollar!) to MOSAIC Arts Alliance, the operating expenses of the gallery would be paid for the next five years! So, please, if you have enjoyed the artwork at Sixth Street Gallery, if you've taken a class or attended an event at the gallery, or if you've never been but want to help keep the arts alive in your community, make a donation to MOSAIC Arts Alliance. Every dollar really does count, and you never know whose life you could be changing!

No comments:

Post a Comment