This pandemic has hit everyone very hard especially our local arts. Musicians have no where to play, events are cancelled or postponed, and people are afraid to go to classes. As a caricature event artist I myself lost 60% of our business this year so I feel the pain. You don’t realize how much our businesses and lives are intertwined until we go through something like a pandemic. My wife recently went to get her nails done and they have lost much of their business because people aren’t going out to events or traveling. Local art associations have been hit even more as they don’t qualify for many of the Government Programs and often rely on shows and classes for income. That all came to a halt during the pandemic.
I had stopped teaching art a couple years ago because of the time commitment with other events but decided to start teaching again to help out a local art association when they asked this year. They needed instructors that were willing to come into a class environment during the pandemic. This helped them bring some income into the association but still has left them struggling.
Recently they put a call out to artists to help out with a fundraiser using art. They have asked instructors, students, and fellow artists to donate a piece of work that would be sold for a set price to help keep the association alive. The art will be put on display for a certain period of time around the end of November to help raise money and offer unique gifts for Christmas. You can learn more about the event through the link below.
You may be wondering why we should care about a non-profit art society? What I have seen in my short time on earth is that art is the cornerstone of many communities. When an area needs help rebuilding it usually the arts that are brought in first to attract people. Art associations offer people a place to grow their skills in art, begin a career or business, and offers fellowship to many through classes and events. Back in 2003 I joined the Oakville Art Society when I started my art business part time. I had my first solo show in 2004, began teaching there in 2005, and remained a member there for over a decade. The association was instrumental in helping me grow my business and the career I have now as professional cartoonist. I have seen the association do the same for others as they progress in their careers. If you take away the arts in a community, you take away the heart and soul of many neighbourhoods.
I would urge you to support your local artists and businesses anyway you can whether it be visual artists, musicians, or other genres. You will be saving your neighbourhood. Hope to see you again soon and all the best and why not buy a unique gift by attending the art sale if you are in the Oakville area.
About the Artist
Bruce Outridge is an artist, cartoonist, and caricature artist from Burlington Ontario Canada. Although most of his work is cartooning he enjoys sketching on location especially when he travels to the Caribbean. To learn more about Bruce and his art visit www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com