Charitable Choices: Chrissy Cheung of PAINTER8 Arts Society

PAINTER8 Arts Society is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver that is dedicated to promoting contemporary Canadian artwork by providing a platform for artists to exhibit their creations without the need for traditional representation. The society believes in empowering artists to showcase their work and connect with audiences directly, fostering a vibrant and inclusive arts community. We had the opportunity to speak to Chrissy Cheung, the founder of PAINTER8, to have an in-depth discussion on the society’s vision.

Carey Dodge (sound artist), Conversation Adru, Sound installation for Irene F. Whittome

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

We are a non-profit BC arts society. Our mandate is to present contemporary artwork from different parts of Canada in the form of an art exhibition. Our Painter8 organization works on a completely volunteer basis. It is an art collaboration that evolves with the ideas and artists that come and go.

What problem does it aim to solve?

Artists need a platform to exhibit without representation. Usually, our exhibitions/projects are theme-based. By having the group discuss and explore together, the work becomes stronger as a group effort. Artists work in solitary and the dialogue between the artists is an important part of their art practice. The artists work in various styles and the diversity of the visual content gives
various inlets to the public eye. Art deserves to be seen.

When did you start/join it?

I started the group in 2013 with a selected group of artists across Canada.

What made you want to get involved?

I wanted to get involved because I felt the need to be part of an arts dialogue and arts community. I lived in Canada my whole life and moved between the major cities: Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver. I felt it important to break down the distance and start hearing about ideas across Canada and essentially keep connected. I had moved my studio home to be able to care for my son better and work around the family unit better. Starting Painter8 kept me connected to the Arts.

What was the situation like when you started?

We started with an online platform sharing ideas and recent work offering sometimes references or reading material to other artists. Images of recent work, art experiments, or art materials became discussed in a group sharing experience. Until one day, one of the artists suggested we should do an exhibit together!

How has it changed since?

All of our exhibits were in-person viewings. During the COVID year, we transformed our cancelled Gastown exhibit due to the pandemic into a 3D virtual exhibit. Sometimes our collaborators were not artists, they were interested in making an intersection and the byproduct being Art.

What more needs to be done?

It is always a work in progress. Meeting new like-minded artists to do new projects and collaborations. I am always on the lookout for alternative venues that will be open to hosting contemporary art exhibitions. Society needs to have a sustained engagement in arts and culture for it to grow.

Rafael Sottolichio, Ordaly No.3, 54” x 54”, acrylic on canvas

How can our readers help?

The arts need support. Readers need to understand how much work goes into creating art. Art was meant to be seen and ingested for their muse. We are hopeful that viewers will remain open to enjoying new and interesting manifestations in culture. Come to our art exhibitions, sign up for our mailing list.

Do you have any events coming up?

We are in a research and planning phase. Nothing is concrete as of yet for Painter8, but we will keep you posted.

Where can we follow you?

You can follow PAINTER8 through our website, Instagram or Facebook.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

For the current times, I think the Red Cross British Columbia Fires Appeal is most relevant. Another organization I would love to pay it forward would be the Mood Disorders Association of BC.


About Emilea Semancik 135 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: