20 December 2007

Visual Arts Fund bolstered by WhoDunIt Event

Organizers of the WhoDunIt? Mystery Art Event, are pronouncing the evening at the New Brunswick Museum the highlight of the fall art season and a winner for the permanently endowed Professional Visual Artists Fund. The Greater Saint John Community Foundation is pleased the fund has now reached the level where it can begin to dispense grants to professional artists, with a total of over $10,000 now raised.

Three hundred fifty art enthusiasts turned out and had a chance to purchase an original “mystery” art work created and donated by fifty local professional visual artists for $100. They also met emcee and CBC personality Costas Halavrezos, enjoyed mystery-themed music by Pegasus and refreshments from Opera Bistro. The evening raised $10,300, exceeding the fundraising goal of the organizers.

WhoDunIt is the third in a series of events, organized by a group of local professional artists and craftspeople, working in partnership with the New Brunswick Museum, to raise funds for the Visual Artists Fund. In 2005, they organized the Art and Artifacts event. They recruited 24 professional artists, who each created a significant work of art relating to some aspect of the New Brunswick Museum's collections. The first event, an Art in The City Studio and Gallery Tour in 2003, also generated monies to establish the Fund.

The founding group, Suzanne Hill, Carol Taylor, Lynn Wigginton and Pat Schell, recognized the precarious financial situation of most artists and the substantial costs they incur to participate in making a submission for a show and if selected, being in one. With this in mind, they set out to establish a permanent fund, The Professional Visual Artists Fund, with The Greater Saint John Community Foundation, tailored to support artists' ongoing work with earnings from the fund. The vision is that this permanent fund will grow as it is augmented by future gifts and events. Fund earnings will be directed annually to deserving artists, in cooperation with the New Brunswick Museum, in recognition of the financial burden of mounting submissions for shows.

“Staging these events took time, determination and commitment to their fellow artists” said Jane Barry, Executive Director of The Greater Saint John Community Foundation. “I commend the group for this generous and innovative new fund.”

The artworks created for WhoDunIt can be viewed on the Community Foundation web site, www.saint-john-foundation.nb.ca. The Art and Artifacts show continues to be publicly available through the New Brunswick Museum web site, www.nbm-mnb.ca, thanks to generous support from The McKean Family Foundation, a legacy of the late Mary McKean, a philanthropist and teacher from Saint John.

The Greater Saint John Community Foundation serves as a trustee for charitable, educational and cultural purposes. It administers funds given by public-spirited individuals for the benefit of the people of this area. Since 1976, the foundation's assets have grown to approximately $9.3 M. In 2006, it donated in excess of $324,000.00 to over 70 local charities. Applications from local registered charities are received twice yearly, Apr. 15 and Sept. 30.

For further information contact:

Wendy Martindale, New Brunswick Museum (506) 643-2338

Jane Barry, Greater Saint John Community Foundation (506) 672-8880