24 Artists 24 Hours event returns at Downtown Eastside gallery

A small gallery in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is set to become a hive of artistic activity this weekend.

The 24 Artists 24 Hours fundraising event will see a group of creative minds go to work around-the-clock at Sheppard’s Pie Gallery on East Hastings Street.

The public is encouraged to drop in on the free-admission event, organized by gallery founder and interdisciplinary artist Emily Sheppard. It runs from July 21 at 3 p.m. to July 22 at 3 p.m.

“It’s to enable artists to make work instead of just display work,” Sheppard told the Straight.

“It’s a little bit different than making artwork in your studio. You’re kind of elevating the making [of artwork] to be just as important as a finished piece of work.”

Now in its third year, the event has been held previously at Vancouver’s Interurban Gallery.

This year, artists from across B.C. and Washington State, in disciplines ranging from painting and sculpture to screen printing and hair styling, are set to take part.

As part of the fundraiser, benefitting the gallery and the participating artists, visitors will be encouraged to leave donations.

A silent auction of works created during the 24-hour-long event will also run until mid September.

Sheppard said the project is, in part, about showing how artists can drum up financial support without relying on government grants.

“I just really think that it’s important for artists to know that they don’t always have to look to grants to make money and that often some of the most beautiful things come from nothing and from creating a platform for collaboration…,” she said.

The event will also offer gallery visitors an up-close look at artists at work.

“I think that often when people go into a gallery there is that sort of pristine quality which makes it unapproachable. If you see a little bit of dust on the ground, you might be more inclined [to visit] because you might not feel as left out of the process,” Sheppard said.

“I think that artists have a huge responsibility to make work for and on behalf of the communities that they’re in.”

Sheppard’s Pie Gallery, which had its grand opening in January, is located at 253 East Hastings Street.