“They (CVAA members) are all a bunch of sweet, sweet people. It’s their gift, it’s their voice to the community and to mental health. We’re saying ‘yes, we hear you, we support you,’” says Patricia Peters. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

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

Exhibition, One Foot by One Foot, helps Chilliwack Community Services and Communitas in Abbotsford

A group of local artists has come together to raise funds for two charities and to shine a light on mental health.

The Chilliwack Visual Artists Association (CVAA) presents its newest show, One Foot by One Foot, and all proceeds from the sale of the artwork will go to Chilliwack Community Services and Communitas Supportive Care Society in Abbotsford.

But that’s just half of what people will see.

The CVAA’s inaugural Christmas fundraiser show will be displayed alongside Hear and See: Poetry and Art for Mental Health from Dec. 13 to Jan. 19 at the O’Connor Group Art Gallery in the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

“We’re always looking for ways to partner with our community and this is a very special event,” says Patricia Peters, acting president for CVAA.

All of the artwork in One Foot by One Foot is indeed that size.

The CVAA provided its members with the small, one-foot-square canvases. They’ve been encouraged to paint and submit up to three pieces each. There’s a chance that not all of the work will fit on the walls of the gallery, but that’s what they’re hoping for — to have an excess of work. That way, when pieces are purchased as per the CVAA’s pay-and-take-away system, new art will be hung in its place.

The CVAA artists have donated their time and talent to put the show together, and all of the work is unsigned and anonymous.

Why the anonymity?

“People might gravitate to grab a certain name, as opposed to just grabbing what grabs you,” says Peters. “I like that it’s not about anybody’s name, it’s about… equal opportunity.”

Every piece will have the same price tag of $90 each, and 100 per cent of the proceeds will go to Chilliwack Community Services and Communitas Supportive Care Society.

“They (CVAA members) are all a bunch of sweet, sweet people. It’s their gift, it’s their voice to the community and to mental health. We’re saying ‘yes, we hear you, we support you,’” says Peters.

One Foot by One Foot will take up at least half of the wall space at the gallery while Hear and See: Poetry and Art for Mental Health by Communitas will fill the rest of the room.

Hear and See was first shown at the Reach Gallery in Abbotsford earlier this year. It’s a show where 14 poets have been paired with 14 artists, and each artist has interpreted the poem they were given into something visual.

Communitas supports people who live with mental health challenges. The artwork and poetry is all done by people connected to Communitas: people they serve, staff, volunteers, donors and/or supporters.

READ MORE: Communitas member creates inspiring colouring book, Designs

Grace Robertson of Chilliwack is one of the poets in Hear and See. She has struggled with an eating disorder for eight years and writing poetry about her experience helps her process. She also hopes that those who read her poetry will learn from it.

“My hope in writing this poem is that people would see that eating disorders are real,” says Robertson. “The pain is real. We are not horribly selfish people trying to ruin the beautiful bodies God gave us. We are hurting people trying desperately to find relief and worth in a world where we feel worthless.”

The members of Communitas “have a message and a voice and they want to be heard, so we’re echoing that,” says Peters.

Much like the mental health community needs support, so does the CVAA for One Foot by One Foot.

“We can’t do it on our own. We need our community of Chilliwack to come and purchase (this art). We could potentially be giving them $10,000 to help with their program,” says Peters. “We need the community and mental health needs them.”

She’s very thankful for her fellow CVAA artists who are contributing to the mental health fundraiser.

“It’s very generous of the artists and we appreciate their efforts. It just goes to show how interdependent we are in each other,” says Peters. “That’s how we’re supposed to be, helping each other and working together. And what other time is more giving than Christmas?”

One Foot by One Foot by the CVAA and Hear and See: Poetry and Art for Mental Health by Communitas runs Dec. 13 to Jan 19 at the O’Connor Group Art Gallery in the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. Opening reception is Saturday, Dec. 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. Poetry reading and artist talk is on Saturday, Jan. 12 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Gallery hours are Wednesdays to Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.


 

@PhotoJennalism
jenna.hauck@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Some of the artwork for One Foot By One Foot. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Veronica Harms’ work is one of 14 pieces in Hear and See. (Submitted)

Jeff Stackhouse’s piece, The Stranger, is one of 14 pieces in Hear and See. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Handgun pointing complaint draws strong RCMP presence at Chilliwack residence Wednesday night

One in custody after brief standoff involving Emergency Response Team and canine unit

Iconic Chilliwack store passes clothing racks on to downtown neighbours

Chilliwack Mission Thriftstore given racks and fixtures as downtown store closes for good

Exercise and cancer to be explored via webinar

UFV’s Dr. Iris Lesser to lead Zoom event for cancer patients and supporters

Overnight closures for Vedder dike gates this summer rather than full closure

Working with anti-dumping and angling advocates, City of Chilliwack came up with compromise

Fiscal statement from the feds lacked clear plan for economic recovery: MP Strahl

While Conservatives backed emergency supports, it’s now time for ‘transparent plan to guide recovery’

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Mayors welcome rideshare expansion to eastern Lower Mainland

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Most Read