April 27 event a chance to buy one-of-a-kind art will help fund programs at both community hubs
By Hilary Caton , Published: April 23, 2015
Gallery 1313 and Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre (PARC) have teamed up to host a collaborative fundraiser, InART: A Parkdale Pop Up Sale, on Monday, April 27. Artists from both PARC’s weekly art program and artists who have previously exhibited work at Gallery 1313 will have work for sale during a silent auction.
“It’s a good way to connect with other community partners and we’re also investing in the arts and arts programming,” said Gallery 1313 owner Phil Anderson.
“I also think its good awareness for the community’s residents and generally in the arts community to see what else is going on.”
PARC’s art program runs once a week from 5 to 8 p.m. and is facilitated by local artist Vladimir Prochazka, who is there to offer guidance with painting and drawing.
However, according to Anne Maureen McKeating, chair of PARC’s resource development committee, participants are able to work on their medium of choice without interruption.
“The arts group’s primary focus is to encourage and support their artists and the development of their work,” she said.
“It’s a way for people to get together in a communal space and just create.”
One of the eight PARC artist’s showcasing their work is Chris Gordon, a King and Dufferin streets resident, who will have about eight pieces in the show that consist of clay scenes and sculptures in glass jars. Some have one sculpture and some have a two-sided scene.
He began creating art in the past year and a half at the art program, after experiencing seizures five years after he was hit by a train while working as part of a sound crew on a film set.
He had broken ribs, fingers, multiple skull fractures, which caused a brain injury, and broke every bone in his back, except his spine.
“I was pretty broken for a long time, but the brain injury was the worst of it. I felt like an alien for five years until I started having seizures,” he explained.
“Once they happened, I started writing music and poetry and (making) these plasticine scenes. I was also able to function in a social setting again. It just woke me up.”
In his exploration into the art world, Gordon started to create a series rooted in molds of real people’s teeth, thanks to his hygienist who provided the initial dozen, and incorporated it into the base of tree sculptures complete with eyes, a mouth and birds.
“As soon as I started doing it, people started giving me molds of their teeth and asked me to make one for them. That’s how my commission started,” he said.
“It’s some wild stuff, but I have so much fun doing it. It’s relaxing, it’s challenging. I try to see how much detail I can stick in there without going overboard.”
The door proceeds from the night will be split between PARC and Gallery 1313; the money will be used to keep the art program running at PARC, and will help the gallery continue to do its programming and community outreach.
Also, all proceeds will go to the artists if the artwork sells for the minimum bidding price. Anything over that will be split 80/20, with the artists pocketing the 80 per cent.
“We’re happy to participate in this kind of venture. I thought it’d be a great opportunity to encourage PARC artists to show their work in a public space,” Anderson said.
McKeating said he couldn’t agree more.
Giving PARC artists a chance to showcase their work is beneficial in a variety of ways including building a profile for the artists, providing financial aid and allowing artists to display their work in a neutral space, he said.
“This is more an opportunity for people to get their work in a neutral context because so often work, even artwork, in social justice agencies often become are framed by that,” McKeating said. “This is the first step outside of the social justice framework.”