Springbank artists Katie Ohe and Harry Kiyooka are donating their home and fundraising to create a new public art space near Calgary, the Kiyooka Ohe Arts Centre.
Ohe says they want to “bring a lifestyle, a fusion of the experience of what art is… where people can come and mingle with the art.
“But also, for artists, to sit and contemplate life, retreat and find inspiration in our future sculpture botanic garden, wetlands and woods sanctuary.”
Ohe and Kiyooka have already transferred their land, home, studios, art collection, and library to the KOAC project, and donated an endowment fund for future operations.
And while they have managed to complete work on the land through donations and government grants, more funding is needed to complete the construction of the art pavilion.
To help meet their $2.5 million fundraising goal, Ohe and Kiyooka will be holding an art auction gala on Friday, when more than 60 works will be sold off in live and silent auctions.
Entry is $100 and includes talks by two guest speakers – visual artist Derek Besant, and internationally-acclaimed professional wrestler (and Calgary boy) Bret “Hitman” Hart.
The vast range of contemporary art up for auction includes works by Ohe, Kiyooka and Besant, as well as Evan Penny, Helena Hadala, and Brent Laycock.
If you can’t make it to the auction, but want to contribute somehow, Ohe and Kiyooka are also looking for volunteers to assist with artwork and library cataloguing.
Where: Hotel Arts – 119 12th Avenue SW, Calgary
When: Friday, April 8 from 7 to 11 p.m.
Here’s a taster of some of the artwork up for grabs: