Artists Helping Artists is celebrating a new space and vision for its future.
The artist-driven co-op recently moved from Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion’s (BACI) head office to 7724 Royal Oak Avenue, a cozy space that can better display art for sale and serve member needs, says Steve Quattrocchi, Artists Helping Artists co-founder and studio manager.
In addition, Steve says the new space is about being a community resource, where people can unleash their creativity. There are plans to offer one-day art courses while building a group of artists that support different abilities.
“We want to become a community arts space, where people can come in and create art, where we can have community events happening,” says Steve.
The first of these events was the studio opening, which saw approximately 60 people convene at the centre Dec. 1 to celebrate the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities in partnership with the City of Burnaby.
Steve says people enjoyed food, swapped stories and bought some of the art. The event was kid-friendly and included a card-making workshop for children.
Kevin Lusignan, senior manager of social and economic inclusion at BACI, attended the opening day and was excited by the support from the City of Burnaby, and seeing impressive art work.
“I saw some wonderful artwork there, most of it done by people with disabilities,” says Kevin. “I’m sure that they’re going to thrive in that location.”
Artists Helping Artists’ next event is World Epilepsy Day, March 26, the only event in the lower mainland. Steve says there are plans to have fun with the theme, which is Purple Day, and make it a purple painting party.
Artists Helping Artists was created more than 12 years ago with a mission to support artists who have a disability in being creative and making art they love. It’s grown to 43 member artists who, as a co-op members, have an input in how the organization is run.
“We really believe in co-operative principles, so that’s why we’re set up this way,” says Steve.
BACI has helped support Artists Helping Artists over the years including donating the initial space for the artist co-op.
Steve says the co-op is excited to have a new location, which is integrating the art co-op into the community.
Artists Helping Artists is open Monday to Thursday 10-4. For more information, call 604.438.4775.
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