The Atlas Affair

Me and my Mom. The photographer had us hold up an atlas. Photo:Bill Pope
My friend Jean-Pierre reminded me that I hadn't reported on how the Arts Council Fundraiser went. Well, my map sold for $800, which was great. I haven't heard yet how well the Arts Council did, but the rumours are that it was more than last year - which was over $12,000. All the money raised goes to support arts programming on Gabriola, including the wonderful Healing Power of Art.
Me and my friend Carol. All the pictures from that night can be seen on Bill Pope's Flickr Photostream. Photo:Bill Pope
People are very generous here on the island, especially the artists. The event stirred up some feelings for me which are perhaps a little ungracious, but have you ever known me to bite my tongue? Artists are always the ones who are called upon to donate their work for fundraisers. It is often the only way we can help, because most of us are on the low end of the income scale. But it is gut-wrenching to see work go at auction for a fraction of its value, (which happened to quite a few artists that night). It is actually undercutting ourselves. The bar, the 50/50 draw, and tickets probably made up more than half the funds raised at the event, (which is not untypical). The art, which it was supposed to be all about, was almost a sideshow.

Maybe I am suffering from donation fatigue. The next fundraiser coming up for which I will donate a piece is for the Syrian refuge family that Gabriola is sponsoring. (They arrive tomorrow! Very exciting!) And of course I feel especially ungracious carping about always being hit up for donations when all I have to do is be grateful I have not had to go through such horrors as the Syrians. I get to live on a peaceful, enchanted island in the Pacific Northwest - being able to create my work and donate the odd piece to raise money for those needier than me is a blessing.

I would just like to see a little more imagination on the part of event organizers when they are looking for items to auction or for prizes. Last fall I heard about a fundraiser on Lasqueti where the item that earned by far the biggest bid was for the gruff, burly barge captain to shave off his beard. Things like that are fun, and different and generate more excitement.

Of course, it would help if there was more equitable distribution of wealth. But that's a topic for another day.


  1. You and your mom are very sweet together! Glad your hard work at least sold for a halfway decent price though I totally get your complaints about donating. So exciting that Gabriola managed to sponsor a refugee family.

  2. great photos and you are a generous soul!

  3. Anonymous3:41 PM

    the picture of you and your Mom is lovely - is she visiting? Delighted your beautiful work brought a reasonable bid but still think it is on the low side.I too, have always wondered why the artistic community are always approached for donations - maybe because many do offer something of value?

  4. Sorry I am so late to see this post Heather. You look great with your tartan and pin, love the tam!


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