Visual

Auction Action

Van Gogh for the Youth

Attend

What: Van Gogh for the Youth: A Night Under the Stars

When: 6 pm Thu., Jun. 20

Where: Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building, 205 Flora St.

Cost: Entry is free; please RSVP

Info: http://www.eventbrite.com

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The legacy of a world-famous artist will be front and center when Garden of Life and Studio UFO team up for “Van Gogh for the Youth: A Night Under the Stars” Thurs., June 20 at Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher Building. The multi-pronged fundraiser will benefit Growing Alliances, a local nonprofit that provides professional development training for youth transitioning out of foster care via the wonders of urban agriculture. While attendees are listening to classical music, up-bidding on the works by 15 local artists during a live auction, and meeting some of the youth whose lives have been affected by Growing Alliances, Studio UFO founder Trish Harding will be there to observe the magic.

Cascadia Weekly: How did the idea for “Van Gogh for the Youth” come together?

Trish Harding: I was approached by Bernadette Zuarte (Garden of Life) and Cody Farias (Growing Alliances) to gather highly qualified artists to create new work for the Growing Alliances Art Auction, so of course I said yes.

CW: Why Van Gogh?

TH: Bernadette suggested Van Gogh, her favorite, and we thought it would have universal appeal. Also, aside from all the similarities of Van Gogh and other impressionists—including painting light, soft edges, quick brush strokes, bright colors and painting outdoors—Van Gogh had a problem with bourgeoisie images and instead set out to paint the common man/woman and depict their toils with dignity, no matter if it was a doctor, postman or barmaid.

CW:“After Van Gogh” is the theme. How were the other artists directed to interpret that?

TH: “Paint a painting as if Vincent were whispering over your shoulder,” I said to them. Each artist’s challenge became creating a painting that is both authentic and carries the artist’s hand, experience and voice and at the same time be influenced in some major way by Van Gogh or his work. It might be a copy of one of his paintings, his color palette, his thick impasto surface, love of the common person, etc.

CW: Growing Alliances are the recipients for this fundraiser, providing training to at-risk youth related to job and food production. How much do you hope to raise for them?

TH:Not all of us can be foster parents, but we all can bid on wonderful artwork to help pay living wages and give a helping hand to foster care kids. Not all of us can give money either, but we can also just show up to show support for them. We are optimistically wanting to raise $20,000. That means we need to get people out to bid who love art, children, organic food and our planet.

The “aged out” youth this money will go to will help pay wages for them to work with dignity. At the same time, they will learn about organic farming, menus, allocating food to the community and other important skills that they will need to be self-sustainable.

CW: When you had the preview of the art at Studio UFO during the June Art Walk, what was the response to the work?

TH: It ticked up several notches every time I explained the Van Gogh connection to the youth and what we were trying to do with the artwork.

CW: What else do you want people to know? Why should they show up?

TH: I would like everyone to know that part of a successful anything is participation and caring. People should come to this event to give big, participate and support, and to learn more about the wonderful work of Growing Alliances. We can’t do anything if people don’t participate in every way they can.

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