Celebrate with Us: Station Gallery’s 26th Annual “Drawing for Art”

by Katherine Ryalen

It’s that time of year again. This month, Station Gallery is celebrating its 26th annual Drawing for Art event, which is our signature fundraiser. It is a night which can only be described as exhilarating, in which artists and art lovers come together to help us in our mission. At Station Gallery, we strive every day to unleash the power of arts and culture to educate, connect and inspire our diverse communities in meaningful and compelling ways. Each year that we succeed is an affirmation of the importance and value that art brings to our community of Whitby. We could not do it without you, our members, and Drawing for Art is as much an expression of our gratitude as it is an appeal for support.

If you are not familiar with the event, then here are the details. Tickets are purchased for $250, which is admission for two individuals. On April 25th, the doors open at Station Gallery at 6:00 p.m., and guests are welcomed to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar as they mingle within our stunning gallery spaces. But your ticket purchase gives you far more than just an evening of art appreciation. The highlight of the night is our draw, for which your ticket is a ballot.

The concept is simple. Early in the year, we put out a call to artists for donations—large, small, framed, unframed, any style or medium. Each year we are thrilled, and even humbled, by how generously the artist community responds. Prominent names in Canadian contemporary art have contributed this year, such as Darlene Cole, Akira Yoshikawa and Natalka Husar. We should note that these are artists whose works typically sell for multiple thousands of dollars through their commercial dealers, and you will have the chance to take home one of their works for only the price of your ticket! We are equally amazed by the contributions of emerging artists, too, and are proud to be a small part of their works becoming more widely recognized. Rising talents who have donated to this year’s event include Barbara Barrett, Wade Belbin and Alyssa Corbett.

Our draw commences at 7:00 p.m., and when your ticket number is called, you have the opportunity to select one piece of artwork to take home with you. If you’re chosen first, the gallery is your playground. But what we love about this event is that, even if your ticket is the last one called, there are still more than twenty pieces of art to choose from. With 130 tickets available and over 150 pieces of art on display (a record, by the way, in our 26 years of hosting Drawing for Art), the selection is as vast as it is varied.

“In all the years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen anyone leave the gallery disappointed with their selection,” says our curator, Olexander Wlasenko.

Olexander (a talented artist in his own right and one of our generous donors this year) has been with Station Gallery for the past eleven years. In his time here, he has been astonished by how much Drawing for Art has expanded and grown. “When I first started here, the event was very small,” he recalls. “It took place in just one of our galleries. But now, the event has grown to probably three or four times what it was back in 2008, and we’ve been able to increase our footprint into all five exhibition spaces.”

This expansion is not only advantageous for our fundraising efforts. It means that, with more gallery space, we can showcase more artwork by local, regional and national artists. It means more quality, original art in homes and offices, to be enjoyed and cherished, to inspire and move. “I’m incredibly touched,” Olexander says. “It’s wonderful—the generous spirit that our artists have when they donate, and the generous spirit that our art lovers have for Station Gallery.”

The energy at the gallery on the night of Drawing for Art is simply electric. The air is alive with the thrill of our guests anticipating their number being called. Adding an interesting element to the night is the way in which different artistic tastes flavour the overall atmosphere. After all, one painting might move someone profoundly, whereas another may appeal intensely to someone else. To see the ways in which these different tastes intermingle on one special night is truly remarkable.

For the month of April, beginning on the first and leading up to the night of the 25th, all donated artwork will be on display at Station Gallery. If you are an enthusiastic ticket holder, we invite you to explore and experience the selection from which you will have the opportunity to choose. You may even wish to do a little bit of research to find out more about the artists who have participated—many of whom will be in attendance on the big night. If you will not be attending, we encourage you to visit us anyway. Remember, Station Gallery is free to the public. With such a wide array of perspectives on display which overlap, interweave and sometimes even diverge, our Drawing for Art exhibition is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Whether you’re a first-time participant or a veteran ballot holder, we hope to see you at Drawing for Art on Thursday, April 25th, 2019 at Station Gallery, 1450 Henry St., Whitby. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for our cocktail preview. Our draw begins at 7:00 p.m., and will run until 10:00 p.m. when our evening will come to a close.

Tickets can be purchased at our website: Drawing for Art ticket

We can’t wait to welcome you!

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