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Patrick Byron and Annette Kuhn painted an image from their trip to Europe for L'Arche's Art Together Project, where two or more people, some with developmental disabilities, collaborate on a piece of art. Photo by Brent Mattson / The B.C. CatholicBurnaby art exhibit raises money to help those with developmental disabilities
By Brent Mattson
The B.C. Catholic

VANCOUVER--L'Arche Greater Vancouver brought a community together March 5 for an afternoon of art and love at The Art of Being Together, an exhibit at the Nikkei Heritage Centre in Burnaby.

L'Arche Greater Vancouver is a non-profit group that has established homes and day programs where people with and without developmental disabilities live, work, and discover faith.

In this, its second year, the Art of Being Together raised around $19,000 from art sales, a silent auction, donations, and sponsorships. Counting guests from the community, sponsors, musicians, community leaders, and volunteers, close to 200 attended.

"Art is something that's really very much a part of our community. There are many artists-in-residence who live at L'Arche, and we love to create together," said Denise Haskett, community leader and executive director of L'Arche. "We have two day programs, one of which is arts and crafts, so it's been a wonderful opportunity for people to get some instruction from artists who come to help with the project."

The art on display included the nine finalist works competing for the judges' and people's choice awards, as well as eight honourable mentions and 17 pieces from the Art Together Project.

All of the pieces were supposed to represent the exhibit's theme of community and togetherness in this opportunity for emerging local artists to show their work.

The judges' choice award went to Sophia Bartholomew for "Together: Transformation, Study no. 3." Carine De Ridder won the peoples' choice award for "The Beautiful Game," her painting of children playing soccer in a dusty street. The winners received a certificate and bragging rights on top of the $500 awarded to each of the finalists.

There was also L'Arche's Community Art Project: guests were invited to participate in creating a work of art. Participants layered silk prints to make rows of blooming flowers on a canvas. The finished product was presented to South Slope Elementary School principal Sandra Woodside-Gothard. The school is across the street from the office of L'Arche Greater Vancouver.

Haskett said activities like this are important to L'Arche's mandate.

"Because this is an event that celebrates community, we have an opportunity for everybody who partakes in this event to contribute to a community art piece," she said.

Burnaby-Edmonds MLA Raj Chouhan, who spoke highly of L'Arche and The Art of Being Together, presented the Community Art Project to South Slope School.

"L'Arche house is really close to my heart," he said. "They have done such a great job in the community for so long, with limited resources."

"You look around at all these artists, and they are not only projecting their artistic ideas but also the community; how we work together," Chouhan said. "Those are the thoughts you see in those pictures. That's the best part of it."

Each of the 17 pieces of the Art Together Project was made as a collaboration of two or more people, some of whom had developmental disabilities.

"They are really exciting, and a lot of them have sold," Haskett said. "Many people from our community are partaking in that project as a way to prepare for this event, and it's just really neat, because everybody has something to contribute to make this event happen."

Patrick Byron and Annette Kuhn worked together for two weeks on their Art Together Project piece "On a Bike Around the World." Kuhn works for L'Arche, and Byron is one of the residents.

"Pat and I have lived together for 12 years, so we know each other really well," Kuhn said.

The painting shows two people riding a tandem bicycle past houses with the flags of Canada, Germany, Holland, France, Moldova, India, Philippines, and South Korea.
Byron and Kuhn explained that the painting is based on their travels together.

"Last year we went to Europe together, to Holland and Germany. In Holland we rented a tandem, so that's what we actually painted," Kuhn said. "Patrick loves flags, so we painted the flags of people we've lived with the last few years. L'Arche is very international, and we have people coming from all over living with us for a couple of years."

The sponsors involved in the event got to choose a piece for their offices, and Angie Maher from Vancity credit union chose Byron and Kuhn's painting.

The Art of Being Together exhibit had nine finalists, eight honourable mentions, and 17 Art Together paintings. Among them were people's choice winner "The Beautiful Game" (above) by Carine de Ridder, and judges' choice "Together: Transformation, Study no. 3" by Sophia Bartholomew (below). Photos by Brent Mattson / The B.C. Catholic

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 March 2011 08:38  

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