Video brings art exhibit to life, raises funds for Lethbridge Soup Kitchen

Click to play video: 'Video brings art exhibit to life and raises funds for The Lethbridge Soup Kitchen' Video brings art exhibit to life and raises funds for The Lethbridge Soup Kitchen
WATCH ABOVE: COVID-19 has caused several hiccups since March, including for the art community. As Quinn Campbell reports, a group of local creators came up with a plan to showcase art, even as the gallery has to follow restrictions. – Jul 7, 2020

Art, culture and community; that’s what a group of Alberta creators are trying to promote with their latest venture, a video highlighting a local artist after his exhibit was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was heartbreaking,” said John Savill, owner of the Trianon Gallery in Lethbridge. “We had an opening, but then immediately after, COVID[-19] started and no one was seeing the show.”

The novel coronavirus has imposed a number of restrictions on Albertans, including artists trying to showcase their work. One of those artists is Robert Bechtel, who has roughly 200 of his paintings currently on display at the Trianon Gallery.

Bechtel is a local artist who attended the University of Lethbridge and has a studio near the city.

The Trianon Gallery and its latest exhibit by Bechtel can currently be viewed by appointment-only because of the pandemic. The limited access sparked an idea among some local creative minds to bring the exhibit to the masses.

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READ MORE: ‘The show cannot go on’: Canada’s arts scene takes hit from COVID-19 

Nick Bohle, a producer with HatChap Productions Inc., and Savill put their heads together and decided to make a video highlighting the artist’s work so everyone can enjoy the exhibit.

“A chance meeting with Nick Bohle led to a conversation that led to a video and then a concept of a sale that we would donate back half the profits of the sale [of the art],” Savill said.

The Lethbridge Soup Kitchen has been selected to receive 50 per cent of the profits from the sale.

“It’s local, it’s very direct, it feeds people that need help and has been operating a long time and is a wonderful organization,” Savill said.

“I think it’s always good to reach out to the community, especially in these trying times, and to help the most vulnerable people in our society,” Bechtel says in the video.

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“Art is going to reach out, be more than just painting — it’s going to reach out to the community.”

The joint effort proves that even during a pandemic, passion for art can go beyond the canvas and touch those in the community, even if you can’t see it in person.

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