The Nanaimo Arts Council is auctioning off members’ art as part of its ongoing efforts to raise $50,000 to afford new lodgings after its headquarters at the old Jean Burns building was gutted by fire in March 2016. For the past year and a half the organization has been based out of the Network Hub.
“We were toast, so to speak. So we moved in here shortly after that, about April, and we haven’t been able, really, to do too much fundraising, particularly. It’s been an uphill battle,” NAC vice-president Dana Smiley said.
“Now we’re in the regrouping stage where were looking for options and ideas for fundraising towards our goal of having a new gallery,” NAC president Jordan Johns added.
“A new creative space will open up a lot more options for us in terms of having more displays, more presence of our members and hopefully we can even run workshops there, too.”
Johns said the NAC is “steadily working towards” its fundraising goal. Starting in the fall the organization began an online auction to help bring in revenue. Johns said the auction will remain open to allow for more bids to come in.
More recently, this month the NAC put up for sale this year’s batch of Festival of Banners street banners. Until Dec. 17 art enthusiasts may view and purchase the banners online or in person at 78 Wharf Street. In January the NAC will be presenting a exhibit on the history of banners at that location and on Jan. 14 a wine and cheese reception will be held.
Also coming in the early New Year is an anonymous art sale, in which the NAC will display unsigned paintings and photographs in its Network Hub space. Johns said this approach will prompt buyers to select works based on their appeal, rather than name recognition.
“It shows a range of some of our membership’s talent base. Different styles, different approaches to art,” he said.
“There was no theme. It was, ‘Pick up your 10 by 10 [inch canvas], create an anonymous piece of art that we can include in our Whose Art? display fundraiser.”
Johns said a new permanent space would allow the NAC to continue offering artists a place to network, brainstorm, collaborate and show their work.
“We would love to basically bring more awareness that we are doing these things to raise money and the end goal is to move into a new gallery space. And if people are interested in the arts council, becoming members and contributing their work … we would love to see that too,” Johns said.
“We’re always looking to grow and develop and if people have ideas they want to come forward with, we’d love to hear from [them].”
To view the pieces of art up for auction, click here.