The crowds milled about, the appetizers circulated, Suzka Maresova played her violin, and the Eleven Equal Artists welcomed more than 500 people to their four-hour opening reception at the Seaside Centre in Sechelt Aug. 16.
The second annual exhibition, Power of Paint, showed new work from artists well known in the community: Morley Baker, Josefa Fritz Barham, Todd Clark, Elizabeth Evans, Greta Grunow Guzek, Carol LaFave, Kim LaFave, Ian MacLeod, Cindy Riach, Nadina Tandy and Marleen Vermeulen. They all glowed with the satisfaction of a celebration and gave no hint of how they had scrambled to assemble the art walls at 7:30 that morning, in order to hang their art before the 5 p.m. opening reception.
New this year was an interesting collaborative piece that caught the attention of the viewers. One artist took a photo of flowers and this was divided into a grid. Each of the 11 artists was assigned grid panels to paint and each painted independently of the others. When the whole was put together, the large assemblage dazzled.
The panels were sold for $200 each, and during the course of the weekend, the collaborative art piece raised $4,800 for a new local artists’ scholarship fund.
Giving back to the community was a key inspiration to the artists.
“We were excited by the unveiling of our first collaborative piece. As artists, our goal is always to explore new ways to draw out creativity and to inspire others while also giving back to our community,” said Carol LaFave.
In addition to the collaborative art piece, more than 60 other paintings were on exhibition last weekend, viewed by an estimated 2,000 people.