To choose hope is to look at life from a positive perspective, no matter the circumstances around you.
This is the theme of a new art and poetry exhibit, curated by Communitas Supportive Care Society, and exhibited in the Community Art Space at The Reach Gallery Museum until January 6, 2024. A free event, celebrating the exhibit, is planned for Thursday, December 14th.
“Choosing Hope is our organizational theme for this year and so it was a natural choice for this year’s art show,” says Angelika Dawson, communications manager for Communitas and one of the curators of the exhibit.
Communitas provides care in communities across BC to people living with developmental disabilities, mental health challenges, and acquired brain injury. One of the organization’s values is to create healthy, inclusive communities where everyone has an opportunity to belong, grow, and contribute. This value is reflected in Choosing Hope. In order to include as many people as possible, both artists and poets were invited to submit creative work on the theme. The invitation included both staff and people served by Communitas.
“What is fantastic about this exhibit is that viewers will not know which work was created by a staff person and which work is created by a person we serve,” Angelika says. “All the work is absolutely excellent.”’
Along with the theme, artists were given a 20×20” canvas to work on, keeping the look of the exhibit uniform. Poets were asked to keep their poems to a specific length and these were then formatted by Veronica Harms, Communitas’ graphic designer.
Edward Drewitt is one of the poets participating in the exhibit. He was drawn to the theme of Choosing Hope because he feels strongly that we need to be reminded of hope’s promises.
“Hope, for me, is a significant remedy to overcoming the undesirable ‘whistle stops’ we each must endure,” he says. “We must remember that hope promises a life where our dreams and desires can become real.”
Artist Kimberly Cooper was also drawn to the exhibit’s theme of Choosing Hope and the message it conveys.
“I believe that ‘hope’ is a positive theme for all people,” she says. “I hope that guests will take away a message of hope for a bright future.”
Choosing Hope also has an interactive element to it. A “Selfie Station” will give guests an opportunity to take a photo with a paper sunflower with a quote about hope printed on it. Participants are then invited to post it to social media and tag Communitas for an opportunity to win a prize.
“We’ll do a random weekly draw during the run of the exhibit and the winner will receive a coupon for a sandwich or bowl from Little Sprout Café,” Dawson explains.
An Artist Talk and Poetry Reading was held on Thursday, December 14th from 5pm – 7 pm. Artists shared about their work and poets read their poems throughout the evening. It was a wonderful evening!
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What began as a small, grassroots initiative in 1974 has grown into an organization that serves people of all abilities across BC.