“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.

 

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

Chilliwack Chiefs lose Kevin Wall to suspension

The team’s leading scorer was tagged with his second major of the season Sunday and sits four games.

Man charged with attempted murder in Chilliwack River Valley deemed mentally unfit

Father says son has schizophrenia; Law professor say too many with mental illness in jail

Four chances to see Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra’s Messiah in the Valley

Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra brings Handels’ Messiah to Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley, Aldergrove

United churches come together to share warmth in Chilliwack

Members of Rosedale, Chilliwack and Mt. Shannon united churches donate 100 care packages to homeless

Lots of laughs at Bozzini’s holiday concert in Chilliwack

Double bill performance features rock n’ roll duo Kitty & the Rooster, cabaret musician Shirley Gnome

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Family calls for change after death of B.C. man at St. Paul’s Hospital

Hospital beds for patients with both medical and mental-health issues are ‘very limited’: coroner

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Vancouver Whitecaps lose Kei Kamara, protect 11 players from expansion draft

The club added two goalies, a winger and a midfielder during Major League Soccer’s half-day trade window

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

B.C. man linked to human remains probe to stand trial on unrelated assault case

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will appear on all three Vernon matters this week

B.C. lumber industry trade mission still has high hopes for China

Forests Minister Doug Donaldson cut short trip after Japan, Korea stops

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

Most Read