Sale of art for the benefit of the Ukrainian people

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A porcelain pottery artist’s idea to sell art to help the people of Ukraine has received “overwhelming support” from the 24 artist members of the Capitol Arts Market in downtown Simcoe.

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Gallery coordinator Linda Campbell and potter Joseph Panacci of Renton were busy over the weekend preparing for the special art sale which begins on Tuesday.

“It’s all original art, from functional objects to decorative and sculptural objects,” Panacci said. “It’s an opportunity for people to buy art and support a cause at the same time.”

A small gallery room will feature artwork – donated by member artists – which will be sold and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Ukrainian Relief Fund through the Red Cross.

The potter from Renton said he was lucky to be able to work in a beautiful workshop where he is comfortable, warm and safe. While working alone, he often thinks of others who are not so lucky.

Panacci said he desperately wanted to do something, calling the situation in Ukraine “heartbreaking”.

“My parents, when I was young, told me a lot about World War II and its aftermath,” he noted. “I’ve been privileged, never had anything to worry about in my life. But I can’t imagine what they’re going through.

Launched as the Capitol Performance Group by a group of Simcoe businessmen, the space at 13 Norfolk Street South was intended as a performance space.

Campbell noted that when that effort fell short, the artists took over the space three years ago.

The Capitol Arts Market is a cooperative non-profit gallery whose members pay a small fee for their space and a commission on sales.

“When someone walks into the gallery, they meet an artist because they all take turns working here,” Campbell explained. “Our aim is to promote the arts in Norfolk County.”

The sale for the benefit of Ukraine will continue until the end of April.

The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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