Every artist dreams of becoming the next Van Gogh, Picasso or Damien Hirst, we may do it secretly, but we do it. The ultimate in attainment is a body of work that changes perception, that touches people in a grand and far reaching way. For most artists, it is the reason they create in the first place, to change the world – one creation at a a time. We artists are a powerful force in the universe.
We create art hoping to touch someone with our ideas, our images, our concepts.
What if you were given the opportunity to raise the spirits, enliven or soothe a large group of people you could never otherwise reach? A place where you needn’t worry about sales and marketing. A place where you share your creations and let your work do what it was created to do.
An artist friend of mine recently became the co-curator for a gallery in The Old Brewery Mission in downtown Montreal, Canada. The rotating shows are presented in the cafeteria of the men’s pavilion. These shows exist for the pleasure of the homeless. Artists lend their work for 6 weeks at a time.
The current exhibit at Galerie Carlos, in the Old Brewery Mission, Montreal, Canada.
An exhibit that elevates the purpose of art to new heights.
Sure, lots of artists struggle to make a good living through the sale of art, but it’s nothing compared to the struggle the homeless face. What could be more satisfying than adorning a space that exists solely to provide solace for displaced souls? I consider myself lucky to be able to contribute.
After hanging all the art for the inaugural mission show, one of the men came up behind my friend and said one word. “Sublime” She was so moved, she could barely respond.
What if every community art group put together a program like this? It could be for a homeless shelter, or a government run retirement/old age home. Any place where people have a need for the restorative effect of art. A hospice, or health clinic. A little imagination will reveal lots of opportunities to uplift others. I think the artistic community yearns for a circumstance to do good, to help the world and be a healing force.
An unexpected silver lining
In May 2017 I will have my turn to show my paintings at the mission. I could just pick from the stock of paintings I have on hand, but I am so taken with the concept of the show that I am planning to create paintings specifically for the space. What a revelation it has been to consider making art in this context. It has inspired a new approach and unlocked a whole series of creative ideas. I am deeply appreciative of this newfound zest for the making and sharing of art.
For more information on Galerie Carlos at the Old Brewery Mission:
Old Brewery Mission website
Mission FaceBook page
With special thanks to Susan Porter and Karen Hosker, the curators of Galerie Carlos.