2020: the year we were all pushed to and past what we thought were our limits. We all had to find ways to persevere and adapt when the old, familiar ways had to be set aside for the collective good. At Beaux Arts, the word pivot was our mantra.
We were preparing to move to 16 Queen Street East when the pandemic hit and our members really stepped up! They donned their masks and got to packing boxes, hauling furniture, designing, painting and constructing our new space. Passersby would peek in, curious to see the transformation.
With the gallery closed, we were forced to get creative. Board and member meetings went virtual. So did our shows, starting with the aptly named #ArtKeepsGoing.
We held online retrospectives of past shows, kept in The Vault. A-typical Shift and Falling Forward delved into how artists were dealing with our new reality while looking ahead with hope. Hollowvid showed that a digital Halloween could still be spooky. Our Winter Art Show & Sale was a hybrid, using our website and social media to connect our audience with art physically hung on the walls.
We put the spotlight on our members so you could still get to know them, even though you couldn't meet them in person.
We've ventured out into new territory during these challenging times. We are organizing I Know Why, Beaux Arts' first show for black artists, which I find so encouraging, especially since I'm a black artist myself. We even started this blog!
None of this would be possible without leadership, teamwork, a shared vision and more than a little brain power/elbow grease. That's what being artist-run is all about!
We came together and kept Beaux Arts going, not just for ourselves, but for future generations of artists. They will stand on what we have built. I'm so proud to be a part of this collective!