Biennial Art Auction Raises Funds For Saskatoon Sexual Health

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Nicki Ault, a Saskatoon landscape artist, submitted her painting, Festivities, to the auction. (Photos Supplied)

One of Saskatoon’s longest-running art auctions is back for another year to raise money for a local non-profit organization.

BODY of Art, a biennial art auction benefit event for Saskatoon Sexual Health (SSH), is set for March 24 at the Albert Community Centre. The artist-friendly fundraiser has supported the work of SSH for more than 25 years. 

SSH provides sexual and reproductive health services in Saskatoon and area with an emphasis on safe, inclusive and empowering clinical care and education. The organization works with diverse communities to promote healthy and informed sexualities.

Executive director Heather Hale is pleased to see local artists and community members continue to show their support for SSH.

“Saskatoon Sexual Health has been around for over 40 years. We were the Family Planning Association and then we were Planned Parenthood and the Sexual Health Centre of Saskatoon, so folks knew it by many names,” she said. 

“Our most recent rebrand was in 2016, and that was when we went with Saskatoon Sexual Health — and that was really to reflect the all-encompassing work that we do around sexual and reproductive health and education. So, as an organization, we offer sexual and reproductive health education, advocacy and clinical services.”

This year, more than 30 local artists will be featured in BODY of Art, including Mindy Yan Miller, Kevin Wesaquate, Marvin Swartz, Dave Stonhouse, Jordan Schwab, Tamara Rusnak, Ian Rawlinson, Alicia Dawn Popoff, Laura Payne, Tim Nowlin, Alison Norlen, Cam McKay, Anne McElroy, Grant McConnell, Steph Krawchuk, Miranda Jones, Clint Hunker, Jane Harington, Gale Hagblom, Karla Griffin, Kim Ennis, Lorenzo Dupuis, Jan Corcoran, Patrick Bulas, Kathy Bradshaw, Catherine Blackburn, Joi T. Arcand, Nicki Ault, Bevin Bradley and Bridget Aitken. Since BODY of Art is an artist-friendly event, a portion of the sales will go to each artist.

“I think this event really showcases the breadth and depth of the art scene here in Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon,” said Hale. “I’m honoured to have so many artists supporting the event — both the existing ones, as well as the new, emerging artists.”

Saskatoon landscape painter Nicki Ault submitted an oil-on-panel piece to the auction. The work, entitled “Festivities,” was inspired by the acreage of Ault’s studio mate and fellow BODY of Art participant Bridget Aitken.

Ault said she wanted to take part in BODY of Art because she appreciates the services and “non-judgmental” support provided by SSH.

“It just is, to me, a valuable service for the Saskatoon community — for young people, for any age. I just feel like it’s quite crucial, actually, to the health of our society.”

Ault, who has been painting for about a decade, has previously participated in BODY of Art. She started painting full-time when her youngest son went to Grade 1. She blogs at www.nickiault.blogspot.ca and draws inspiration for her paintings from the environment around her.

“I’m from Saskatoon, born and raised here,” she said. “I spent, from as far back as I can remember, my summers up in the lake area up north — mainly Waskesiu, but in and around that area. So the prairie land, and also the northern.”

BODY of Art will take place on March 24 at the Albert Community Centre, located at 610 Clarence Ave. South. Viewing will take place at 2 p.m., with the auction set to begin at 3 p.m.

Jenny Ryan, a local stand-up comedian and member of the Lady Bits comedy group, will host the event, which will also include live music by the Shelley Ewing Duo, a silent auction, wine and beer and food from Fresh Dish Catering. Marcus Miller, director of the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery, and Rose Bouthillier, curator (exhibitions) at Remai Modern, will serve as the auctioneers.

Tickets to BODY of Art are $40 online at eventbrite.ca (search for BODY of Art), in person at Saskatoon Sexual Health (located at 210 Second Ave. North) or  at 306-244-7989.