arTHANKS is a project for artists to say thank you to front-line workers for all they’ve done. We spoke with Ginger Sedlarova, Team Member, to find out more about them.
Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences. What problem does it aim to solve?
arTHANKS is a Lower Mainland-based project for artists to say thank you to front-line workers for all they’ve done (and continue to do) during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We’re accepting donations of work from local artists to be given for free to those workers (doctors, nurses, firefighters, baristas, clerks, educational assistants, anyone who is on the front lines) from across the Lower Mainland to acknowledge their hard work on our behalf every day.
When did you start/join it?
arTHANKS started as an idea in the head of the local artist David MacLean last summer. He sent me an email outlining his concept, and I immediately wrote back saying, “Great idea, and I want to be involved!” We then brought in two great friends, promoter Ali Ledgerwood and fellow artist Valerie Arntzen. Things were bumpy getting the project set up, but it’s running smoothly now, art coming in and going out, including our own work.
What made you want to get involved?
I had also been wondering how I could let those on the front lines know how appreciative I am for what they do, so am grateful that David’s concept email landed in my inbox and gave me an outlet.
What was the situation like when you started?
We were in the midst of the second wave when we started to set up arTHANKS. We optimistically thought we’d run till the end of 2021, but the pandemic doesn’t seem to be going away, so neither are we.
How has it changed since?
We’ll keep arTHANKS up and running as long as we believe front-line workers need to see they’re valued.
What more needs to be done?
We’re getting more and more requests as word gets out for artwork from front-line workers, which is great, but if you’re an artist please consider donating a piece of work! More importantly, we need to make sure our front-line workers are treated with the respect they deserve. We know it’s often been rough and dispiriting, and we hope our project helps let them know their work is appreciated.
How can our readers help?
If you’re an artist, please consider donating one or more pieces of work for front-line workers to choose from; If you’re a front-line worker, please go to our website and pick out a piece of art as a thank you (If you don’t see anything that you love when you visit, keep checking back, as new work is added frequently); and if you want to help, we’re looking for both people who’d like to help out at upcoming pop-up shows, for example – you can register to volunteer at the above website. We’re also welcoming donations to help with costs such as cards to hand out to front-liners, which can be done at the same website under Donate. And thank you if you can help in any way described above!
Do you have any events coming up?
None at the moment — we’re online-only until it’s safer to put on events. But stay tuned for pop-up shows and gallery shows this coming spring. We’ll be posting and tweeting all upcoming events, so please follow us on social media or at our website.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?
Personally, I also love supporting animal rescue organizations, and one of my very favourites is VOKRA, where my two awesome kitties come from. They do excellent work with rescue animals, and I’m grateful to them for all their hard work on behalf of animals.