Closet collection

Arts fundraiser returns this year and hopes to spread awareness

Joanna Shi’s piece “Untitled” (2013) will also be auctioned.
Joanna Shi’s piece “Untitled” (2013) will also be auctioned.

Involvement is key to an artist’s success in this community.

Held annually at Ban Righ Hall, Cezanne’s Closet consists of innovative artistic pieces donated by students, graduates, local artists and professors.

Community members are invited to purchase tickets, which will allow them the chance at claiming a piece of art.

Ticket numbers are put inside a box and then drawn from the box at the event. When a number is called out, the person holding this ticket has a few seconds to claim a work of art.

The evening proves to be exciting for all art-lovers as they compete for their favourite pieces and mingle with artists.

Joanna Bo Han Shi, treasurer of the Union Gallery operating board, decided to get involved in her third year with the gallery, and in her fourth year, became treasurer of the gallery’s annual fundraising gala, Cezanne’s Closet.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to network with fellow artists, as well as to gain exposure in the Kingston art community,” Shi, ArtSci ’14, said.

She said the issues facing the BFA program, however, will affect the fundraiser this year.

“We are a bit apprehensive about how the turnout will be this year. Most of the artwork is submitted by fine arts students, particularly fourth-years,” Shi said.

“The suspension of the Fine Arts program two years ago at Queen’s will definitely affect the number of people who will show up, as the majority of exposure about this event came from these students.”

The event helps to raise the profile of struggling student artists.

“Most people don’t realize that this is an excellent opportunity to network with fellow students, professors and established local artists,” Shi said.

Despite the setbacks, the event has received 30 to 40 works of innovative art, on top of many pieces from students.

“We are particularly excited to feature the art of Professor Otis Tamasauskas, who is very well known for his contemporary printmaking and his innovative artistic style,” she said.

The types of pieces that usually go into the silent auction are oil paintings, woodcut prints, screen printing, lithography, copper etchings and occasionally some sculpture.

“There is always something for everybody. I am particularly excited to showcase some of my pieces at the silent auction,” Shi said. “One is an oil painting, and the other is a fine piece of woodcut print.”

The fundraiser usually raises about $5,000. The money enables the Union Gallery to keep running, allowing innovative student artists to gain exposure.

“We usually sell about 60-70 tickets at about $150 per ticket. This year’s fundraiser is different because we need to raise more money,” she said.

“We had to go through a lot of cuts in our funding. We are doing our best with what we have and so the burden of our usual workload now falls more onto the support of this annual fundraiser.”

The Cezanne’s Closet fundraising event will take place on Feb. 8 at Ban Righ Hall. Tickets are $150.

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