Project aims to leave an artistic footprint

An artist's mind is always whirling and twirling, which is one of the reasons why Trends Art & Frame co-owner Leslie Parent wanted to try to capture a bit of the artist in a piece of art.

That seed of an idea turned into a collage, with a number of artists putting a representation of themselves into one painting, Parent said Wednesday.

The concept morphed a final time when Parent sent an email invitation to local artists to paint, draw and otherwise create a self-representation on a five-inch-by-five-inch canvass.

"We're in a perfect spot because we get a lot of the artists in here (the store) for supplies and framing," said Parent. "I get to see lots and lots of local artists."

That was back in August. Parent intended to have the canvasses in by the end of the September, but there was so much interest that artists were still submitting work in November.

She sent out 40 canvasses and 28 came back. Parent said the process was a challenge for the artists because most don't draw or paint on that small a surface.

"What I wanted, what I had in my head, was I wanted an imprint of who they were. What is their art to them?" she said.

The result is an impressive collection of watercolour, abstract, pencil and painted work collected on one three-foot-by-five-foot piece. The name of each artist is inscribed beneath the art.

"It looks pretty tremendous," said Parent. "I was mostly excited that I could get artists working together on this. And my hope is that I can do this annually."

The piece, which is called the Artistic Footprint Collection 2012, is on display at Trends Art & Frame at 1302 Battle St. But it's about to be put up for auction at the Thompson Rivers University Foundation Gala on Feb. 2.

Parent said she wanted to find a way for the artists to give back to the community. One of the artists, Mairi Budreau, works at TRU. She mentioned it to someone and word eventually got back to gala organizers, who contacted Parent.

All money raised from the auctioning of the Artistic Footprint Collection will go to student scholarships and bursaries, said Parent.

And, with each new footprint collection, Parent intends to find a new charity to support.

"I'm kind of excited. I don't think anything like this has been done before."

Parent runs Trends Art & Frame with her son, Curtis.

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