Artists got the spotlight during The White House Studio Project’s silent auction and fundraiser at the Kensington Market on Sept. 20.
Stephanie Avery, a member of the artists’ White House collective said that the event was aimed at producing, presenting and supporting emerging art and art projects.
“The name of the show is the Sell Out Show,” said Avery. “I’m hoping to sell them all, that is what I’m aiming for. That is why I called it this.”
The show displayed artworks and the bidding started at $10 and by the end of the night, close to half the pieces were sold.
Avery said bidding helps artists.
“Even if it doesn’t go for very much, watching people fight for your work is the hugest ego booster you can ever hope for,” she said.
Avery has previously hosted art shows in her house, where she sold her own paintings for $1. There was also a raffle where the money received went towards the White House project, named for the residence where the group began.
Art is something that was always a part of Avery.
“There wasn’t really much of a choice for me, it was always the natural way to go from when I was a little kid and drawing non-stop,” she said.
Ali Walker, a friend of Avery’s who attended the event said supporting such shows is important.
“Supporting the local community makes you care more,” she said.
Noni Kaur, program coordinator for the visual and digital arts program at Humber, as well as a successful artist in her own right, said the moment you notice society looks at you in a certain way, you have arrived as an artist because you have been noticed,” said Kaur.
Teaching for more than 25 years, Kaur believes art is essential for people.
“We supplement that creative hunger in people who don’t practice art. We create art to make society a more livable space,” says Kaur.
Kawaldeep Singh, 20, a fourth-year Early Childhood Education student at University of Guelph-Humber appreciates what art gives back.
“I like how when I look at a piece it draws me in,” she said. “It gives me a feeling, sometimes it makes me feel happy or sad but regardless, I know when I look at a piece I’m going to feel something and that is what I look forward too.”
Kaur does have some advice for potential artists: “It’s a lonely road to be an artist, you need to be aggressive, not give up and understand that you are trying to build up your visual vocabulary and that could take years to embrace the idea.
“But believe enough that it will happen and slowly but surely it will happen.”