How do struggling artists reach an audience and help end poverty at the same time? They bring their art outdoors, of course.
For the fifth year, Canadian Artists for the Poor is bringing Calgary Art Walks to Stephen Avenue on Thursday, June 6, when local artists will display their painting, photography, carving, pottery and other artworks. Fifteen artists will be present at Thursday’s Art Walk and another 10 represented. Canadian Artists for the Poor has a relationship with more than 200 local artists.
Canadian Artists for the Poor was founded five years ago with the goal of supporting local, national and international charitable agencies trying to end extreme poverty around the world. The non-profit is the brainchild of Julie Chandler, executive director, who is not an artist but who was inspired in 2008 by books and lectures that brought a sense of immediacy and purpose to the idea that every individual has the power to do something about the extreme poverty suffered by others.
Among the organizations Canadian Artists for the Poor has supported in the past include International Justice Mission, Open Hand Nepal, Cause, Mully Children’s Family Charitable Foundation, A Place of Rescue, The Mustard Seed, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, School Project in Ghana, Lifeline Malawi, GAIN, Haiti Arise and Heart to Heart Haiti. A portion of the $100 exhibitor’s fee from each artist is donated to the charity selected each year. Additionally, some artists choose to donate a percentage of their sales.
Calgary Art Walks takes place on the first Thursday in June, August and September, as well as July 1, Canada Day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Best of all, it is free. You can stroll along Stephen Avenue, talk with the artists, browse through their work and buy a piece of art to your heart’s content without paying a Bluenose dime for the privilege. It’s a win-win-win relationship: Artists get to display and sell their work, the public gets to see and take home great local art, and, most importantly, the poor get a leg up.