An exhibition with a cause: Montreal’s ‘Art by the Water’ celebrates 15 years

An exhibition with a cause: Montreal’s ‘Art by the Water’ celebrates 15 years

The Art by the Water exhibition is set to celebrate its 15th year over the weekend.

For this edition, the event’s proceeds will go towards The Simon Chang Foundation for Change, where Canadian fashion icon, Simon Chang, will then donate the funds to help create “The Sensory Bin Project.”  

“We’re very, very thrilled,” said Audrey Riley, Founder and artist of the vernissage. “We have an amazing amount of artwork to show.”

The Art By The Water exhibition is celebrating 15 years and will take place the weekend of April 26, 2024. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

What started with six friends who painted together, now expanded to this yearly charity event.

“Our first show was extremely successful,” said Riley. “Beyond our wildest dreams and hopes.”

“I love Art by the Water,” explained Valeria Szabo, organizer and artist at Art by the Water. “It helps me, it gives me the opportunity to meet people, artists and the people who come to visit.”

“It also gives me a chance to exhibit my art.”

The Art By The Water co-organizers Valeria Szabo (left) and Audrey Riley (right) at Simon Chang’s office in Montreal on April 18, 2024. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

This year, about 200 paintings will be displayed and available for sale inside the historic 200-year-old Beaconsfield Yacht Club from local and guest artists.

“What we’ve accomplished in 15 years, it’s been quite amazing,” said Riley. “So proud that we’re partnering with Simon Chang this year.”

“And for such a good cause,” she added. “Such a worthy charity.”

Canadian fashion icon, Simon Chang, at his studio in Montreal on April 18, 2024. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

“I have a foundation, and I love children, I love to inspire people,” said Chang. “This is why I think this is the perfect collaboration.”

A collaboration that will make these bins possible.

The Sensory Bin Project will be created by students at the Wagar Adult Education Centre. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

The bins will be created by students at Côte Saint-Luc’s Wager Adult Education Centre — then given to other students within the English Montreal School Board (EMSB).

“These are things that (…) children, adults use to help self-regulate their emotions,” said Louise Panet-Raymond, teacher at the Wagar Adult Education Centre.

“This is something that they could go to the back of the class, where the bin will be, with the teacher’s permission, and be able to take out an object and just help them self-regulate, bring them back to a comfortable place emotionally,” she added.

“Some (objects) are squishy, some are very just tactile for different feelings, some are more visual in nature.”

“We all have different needs,” explained Panet-Raymond. “For students, it’s all about self-regulating those emotions and bringing them back to a calmer space.”

An object from “The Sensory Bin Project” seen at Simon Chang’s office in Montreal on April 18, 2024. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

The three day ‘art gallery’ happening from April 26 to 28 is open to all, and free to attend.

Donations of any amount are encouraged –- while the artists will give a percentage of their sales to Chang’s foundation — whose philanthropic efforts began in 1986 — and his fashion career this year, celebrating five decades.

“Let’s inspire the young children,” said Chang. “They are our future.”

“I want to collaborate with things that we can inspire them to become better citizens.”

A poster hanging on Simon Chang’s office wall in Montreal on April 18, 2024. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

From traditional to mixed media and abstract art –- all Art by the Water visitors will automatically be entered to win one of three paintings, and have a chance to meet Chang, while contributing to the cause.

“Please come and visit us,” said Riley. “And see the wonderful art.”

The Art By The Water exhibition is celebrating 15 years and will take place the weekend of April 26, 2024. (Credit: Pamela Pagano/CityNews)

Art by the Water at the Beaconsfield Yatch Club:

April 26 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

April 27 & 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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