Surrey Art Gallery Media Release – We’re All Artists

“An Hour of Joy” – Surrey Art Gallery teams up with Seniors’ Centre Without Walls to Offer Telephone Art Class

Mondays from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Surrey, BC – Since spring 2020, Surrey Art Gallery has partnered with Surrey’s Seniors’ Come Share Society to offer “We’re All Artists: Creative Practices at Home” as part of Seniors’ Centre Without Walls (SCWW).

Edwin Chau is the program coordinator for SCWW in which “We’re All Artists” is one of many dial-in phone programs where participants can meet others, gain new skills, and stay connected.

Two long-time Surrey Art Gallery instructors, April Davis and Claire Moore, take turns leading the hour-long class on Mondays from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

This free drop-in, tech-friendly program simply requires participants to register in advance, pick up the phone when Chau calls, and press 1.

“We’re All Artists” is aimed at seniors 55+ in Surrey and White Rock. The lessons consist of an art technique such as collage, drawing, or painting delivered through simple but precise instructions over the phone, mixed with art history facts and time for verbally sharing and responding.

Most of the materials can be found at home, though participants are mailed a package with a handout and supplies needed for the coming session.

Mary E. Harris, Red-breasted nuthatch, 2020, pastel on paper.
Susan Match, Fall Warms my Heart, 2020, watercolour on paper.
Mary E. Harris, Let’s Go Fly a Kite, 2020, pen on paper.

The program attracts seniors of all ages and abilities for various reasons. Susan Match of Surrey was drawn to the art class when she began losing her sight. She calls the class a “life-saver” and says it is helping her brain and her sight. She states, “I’m growing. I’m not an artist. I’ve always done management [positions] but I actually see improvements now. It’s working!”

Another participant, Mary E. Harris, has an arts background that she’s reconnecting with because of this class. “It forces me to sit down and do what I love,” she says. A former teacher who is passionate about Paleolithic cave art, one of her favourite sessions was making gesture drawings with Claire Moore. She refers to the class as “an hour of joy.”

Edith Strand, mandala 1 (2020, wax crayons and watercolours)

The social aspect of the program is just as enticing as the artmaking. Edith Strand says, “I’m surprised how much I enjoy being with other people making art, even though I can’t see them.” Match echoes this sentiment: “You get to know people in a different way—how we see the world and art.”

Interested seniors can register by emailing or phoning Edwin Chau at 604-531-9400 ext 205. As the program is very popular, the Gallery recommends registering early to avoid being put on a waitlist.

About Surrey Art Gallery

Internationally recognized for its award-winning programs, Surrey Art Gallery, located at 13750 88 Avenue in Surrey, is the second largest public art museum in Metro Vancouver. Founded in 1975, the Gallery presents contemporary art by local, national, and international artists, including digital and audio art.

Its extensive public programs for children through to adults aim to engage the public in an ongoing conversation about issues and ideas that affect our communities and to provide opportunities to interact with artists and the artistic process.

Admission is free. Surrey Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the City of Surrey, Province of BC through BC Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Surrey Art Gallery Association.

Surrey Art Gallery continues to present Art Together, a series of online programs that began in March 2020 and explore art and artists in the community, spark the imagination, and celebrate the ways that art can impact our lives. Visit us virtually, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.






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