Artists and guests mingle during the opening reception for One Foot by One Foot. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress)

Art collaboration raises funds for mental health in Chilliwack, Abbotsford

More than $2,000 raised in support of mental health services offered in Chilliwack and Abbotsford

A fundraiser earlier this year in Chilliwack brought in more than $2,000 for two organizations in Chilliwack and Abbotsford in support of mental health services.

The two-in-one art show featuring One Foot By One Foot and Hear and See: Poetry and Art for Mental Health ran December and January at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre and brought in funds for both Chilliwack Community Services and Communitas Supportive Care Society in Abbotsford.

Hear and See: Poetry and Art for Mental Health, paired 14 poets with 14 artists with each poet writing a poem about their experiences with mental illness and an artist then interpreting that poem visually. The exhibit was presented by Communitas and the Chilliwack Visual Artists Association (CVAA).

“The purpose of the exhibit was to give poets and artists a voice and thereby removing the stigma that is so often associated with mental health challenges,” says Angelika Dawson, communications manager for Communitas and one of the curators of the exhibit.

In addition to this art exhibit, the CVAA held a fundraiser art exhibition to support mental health services. One Foot By One Foot was a series of one-foot-square canvases, painted by CVAA and community artists. These paintings were available for sale throughout the Hear and See exhibit as a “pay and take away.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack Visual Artists Association raises funds for mental health with art show

“This was the first time the CVAA had organized such an event and it was a good learning experience for us,” says Mary-Lee Merz, a member of the CVAA executive. “We didn’t know how it would unfold but I would say it was a success.”

The fundraiser, together with the exhibit itself, connected the community to the gallery, bringing people in who may have never been there before. For both Dawson and Merz, a highlight of the exhibit was the Poetry Reading and Artist Talk, held near the end of the exhibit’s run at the gallery.

“The event gave people a safe place to talk about their creative process,” Merz says. “It was powerful because people shared their struggles and vulnerabilities, which was the source of their creativity. It was an example of the healing aspects of creativity.”

Dawson agrees. “Hearing about the creative process behind the work and the stories that connected the poets and artists was deeply moving.”

Proceeds from the fundraiser supported mental health services offered by Chilliwack Community Services as well as Communitas raising over $1000 for each organization.

”Community funds raised by community members have impact far beyond the value of the dollars raised. These financial gifts help us build new awareness and support from the community,” says Karyn Santiago, CEO for Communitas. “We are deeply grateful for the work of CVAA and their commitment to furthering the conversation around mental wellness in Chilliwack.”

The success of the fundraiser was energizing and the CVAA hopes to have opportunity to do something like this in the future.

“I just want to thank Communitas again for bringing a new level of artistic expression to the O’Connor Group Art Gallery,” Merz says. “I believe all who participated benefited from this joint endeavor. I believe we would like to do this again in the future.”

For more information about this exhibit and the next exhibit planned by Communitas, visit CommunitasCare.com. To learn more about CVAA, visit oconnorgroupartgallery.com.

Just Posted

Grey tubs for glass recycling arriving across Chilliwack

Rinse and remove all food remnants from jars and bottles before placing them in the grey bins

All-American accolades for Chilliwack Spartans swim club grad

Jessie Gibson helped SFU’s women’s team reach an all-time high at NCAA Div-II nationals.

Family-friendly heron tours planned at Chilliwack’s nature reserve

Stretch your legs as you watch the herons return to their colony, March 22 and 23

One of the biggest cow shows in Canada is coming back to the ‘Wack

Prize money totalling $240,000 is up for grabs at the spring show Friday at Chilliwack Heritage Park

Unsworth to receive $90,000 for new playground

Playground to be ready for students in the fall, says ministry of education

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Accused Surrey transit cop shooter’s bail hearing set for April

Daon Gordon Glasgow, 35, is accused of shooting Transit Police Constable Josh Harms, 27

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Most Read