Art Unity Collective art on display waiting for bids at Al’s News in Grande Prairie, Alta. on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Five artists have 23 pieces on display around downtown Grande Prairie with proceeds going back to the artists. A closing gala will take place at Grant Bergճ Gallery on May 16.. (Photo by Jesse Boily)Jesse Boily

Some people may have noticed new artwork in the downtown Grande Prairie businesses over the last few weeks.

The Art Unity Collective, a pilot project from the Just Enough Supports Program and the Housing First Program, is displaying 23 pieces from five artists in downtown businesses.

“We’re a community-based organization, and we believe in an inclusive approach when supporting people experiencing homelessness and living with a developmental disability, so it was important for us to be able to create an event that showed artistic talent from the people we support,” said Cindy Trepanier, Just Enough Supports facilitator. 

All the artworks are for sale, and all the proceeds will go to the artists.

“Together, we can make a difference in the lives of these artists and contribute to the creation of a more inclusive society,” said Trepanier.

On May 16, all the works will be gathered for the artists to display the artwork in a closing gala at the Grant Berg Gallery. 

Trepanier says Just Enough Supports has run similar events in years past but this year is adding the artwork of homeless people from the Housing First program. She hopes to expand the program next year to include more people from the community beyond those who use the Just Enough Supports and Housing First programs. 

The five artists displaying works are Alma, Dorothy, Doug, Amanda, and CJ. They all have various styles, including painting, mixed media, and glass works. 

Trepanier says the artists are excited to be recognized by the community. 

“As a community as a whole, it’s nice to see that oftentimes, whenever somebody’s struggling, we do have more in common than not.”

“We’re super excited that the downtown core is really embracing this project.”

Trepanier asks that those interested in coming to the May 16 Gala reserve a spot by calling 780-296-1775 by May 10.

Just Enough Supports Program and the Housing First Program are provided through Centerpoint Facilitation. 

Just Enough Supports is a program that assists people with developmental disabilities who generally live independently and need help with some of their daily living skills.

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 02, 2024 at 10:25

This item reprinted with permission from   Town & Country News   Beaverlodge, Alberta

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