At my Co-Op gallery, Gallery 121 in Belleville, we kicked off the New Year with a fun 'contest' for visitors to the gallery. Many of the gallery artists were persuaded to do small 14" X 11" self-portraits to hang on one wall in the main gallery. In the smaller gallery room, we invited elementary students from Prince of Wales PS, working with artist Maya Jagger, to do some self-portraits also. Some of the gallery artists were a bit nervous at first, but everyone did a spectacular job, and the 'Name That Artist' wall is a real focal point when visitors arrive. We now have a box bursting with ballots (visitors are asked to try and match a portrait to a photo of the artist). No one really cares if the answers are all correct (a challenging task), but clients are spending a good half hour trying to match everyone up, having a lot of fun, and spending more time viewing all the other art in the gallery. The 'game' is free, and 9 of the participating artists have agreed to donate their portrait for the upcoming draw at our next reception on Feb.28. The student work, of course, is outstanding. As artists, we've learned that it's not only actors who can be upstaged by youngsters! All in all, it's been an exciting event, and there's still lots of time to take part. The local photo-journal Quinte Snap published a few photos. I'll post a few of my own later next week.
Photo courtesy of Quinte Snap.