Gallery looks to buy piece by well-known local painter

A painting by one of Canada's best-known visual artists is looking for a home.

The Two Rivers Gallery is a place striving to be that home. The 2RG's permanent collection is always growing as northern B.C.'s premier municipal gallery gathers the best works of art from our region.

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Gary Pearson may be well known all across Canada's arts circles, with extensive exhibitions in this country, the United States, Germany, Australia, the U.K., and Poland.

And he may be a professor at UBC-Okanagan.

And he may be a past winner of the International Studio Award from New York's Museum of Modern Art, and the 1991 VIVA Award by the Shadbolt Foundation.

But before all that, he was from here.

"Born in Prince George, Gary Pearson is a noted mid-to-late career artist whose work has received significant attention," said Carolyn Holmes, executive director of the 2RG. "The Kelowna Art Gallery produced a major retrospective of his work recently and Two Rivers Gallery exhibited his work earlier this year. Paintings from the 2019 exhibition are the subject of interest from major Canadian galleries. Pearson's large oil painting, Condominium, has been offered for acquisition to Two Rivers Gallery's Permanent Collection for $7,500 which is 50 per cent of market value. Condominium would be an noteworthy addition to our collection and we require community support to be able to acquire this important painting."

A fundraising campaign is now underway to buy Condomium for this hometown price.

"By supporting the Permanent Collection Acquisition Fund, you are investing in a legacy," said Holmes. "Collections are an enduring record of important art and the conversations we have around them and a gift for future generations."

At the same time, the gallery is also campaigning towards a target of $5,000 for those future generations. An account is in place to help financially challenged families get their children in touch with art and the creative process. It is called the Pay It Forward Fund.

"While we offer an array of children's art classes, day camps and youth programs, we realize that not every family can afford to send their children to these programs," said Holmes. "While there is access to funding opportunities for sports, support for young people interested in creative pursuits is difficult to find."

Last year, due to generous donations, the Pay It Forward Fund was able to include local children in an array of arts initiatives like 15 who got to attend the gallery's Maker Club, studio classes and Creativity Camps, and another 216 students who experienced the 2RG's school programming at no cost.

"While some teachers and families approached us, we also worked with inner city venture schools like Nusdeh Yoh, Ron Brent and Harwin Elementary Schools to reach out to children who might benefit from our programs," Holmes said. "By donating to the Pay It Forward Fund, you are making it possible for the Gallery to assist those families who need a little extra help."

To donate to either the Pay It Forward Fund or the Permanent Collection Fund to acquire the Pearson painting, follow the links at the gallery's website or call 250-614-7800.

All donations greater than $25 are eligible for a tax receipt, and a any donation above $50 earns you complimentary Two Rivers Gallery Membership for one year.

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