Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Arts Connection provides free outdoor art show

Have you ever visited an outdoor art gallery before?

I have. Just a couple of weekends ago, as a matter of fact.

It was a dark, cold, and rainy afternoon - the kind that drives everyone indoors. But, as I walked past The Arts Connection building, something caught my eye.

I retraced my steps and entered the parking lot. And there, arrayed in a line just above my head, was a set of bold, colourful, and delightfully folksy looking paintings. I was so smitten that I whipped out my Canon camera (yes, I almost never leave home without it) and started snapping photos, one at a time, walking crablike from one end of the wall to the other. Then my batteries went dead and a disheveled looking man appeared from behind a dumpster and sent me running for safety (did I tell you that no one was about?). So much for being a serious photo-blogger.

It turned out that the outdoor collection comprises two sets of paintings that were done at different times.

The first set of four paintings date back to 1990, when The Arts Connection first opened in the back half of what is now the SOS Children’s Village store. They were done by art students under the guidance of Anne Tait, an Emily Carr Art School graduate and winner of numerous awards. The second set of paintings was completed nearly a decade later by students of Adrianne Moore, a Richmond artist. Together they still captivate the eyes and warm the hearts of passersby.

Obviously, I was not the only one charmed by them.

"When the paintings were first done and hanging on the side of our building facing what is now the SOS Children’s Village parking lot, someone came during the night and stole one of them right off the wall," says The Arts Connection director Linda Shirley. "An appeal and photo was published in an article in the local newspaper and the painting was returned in the middle of the night."

Want to see all of them again without scrolling up? Here's a slide show:

OK, enough of this personal commentary. Just grab your coat and head down to 12191 First Avenue and have a look for yourself. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, in this case, there are eleven pictures, so you do the math.

As far as the rumpled-looking gent is concerned, however, well – you’re pretty much on your own.


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