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UCalgary students find a virtual outlet to keep their creative connection

Unable to meet in person or practice in a studio space, a University of Calgary club is still finding ways to share their artistic hobby.

The Art for Health Club, headed by Co-Presidents Kathreen Migue and Samantha Chan, has taken to meeting online in order to continue club activities.

“We are a community of students where one thing brings us together. For us that’s art and a desire to contribute to health care,” said Migue. They are raising money through the sale of pieces created during clubs virtual get-togethers.

Club VP of Events, MacKenzie Kroeker, said the group is a place for members to come together and decompress.

Kroeker added due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, the current state of the club looks very different from how it was originally intended.

“The original intention was in real life to be able to get together, share snacks, [and] listen to music, but unfortunately due to COVID-19 that’s not possible,” she said.

“We meet every two weeks over Zoom for about two hours… we just enjoy the time painting together.”

Future return to in-person painting

Migue hopes to eventually see a return to in-person painting nights. They also hope to generate more viewings and attention to members’ work.

“If things are back to normal, maybe we can have in-person events and maybe we can paint in one room,” she said.

“A lot of students at U of C are very talented and have the same hobby as me. I think they deserve recognition for their art.”

Club Communications Coordinator Andrea Vargas said she joined the club as a way to experience her hobby and make friends. Participating has been a very positive experience.

“It’s really nice because even if you’re not an artist or you’re very beginner, everyone is so amazing with what they do,” she said.

Kroeker added she would ideally like to see the club grow both in members and event attendance. They want to continue supporting local health care and making a positive impact through art.

Art sale to raise cash

As a way to both increase recognition of their members artwork, and to contribute to local health care, the club opened an art sale on Dec. 15, 2020 of their created pieces.

The gallery includes works created throughout the semester. All proceeds generated from sales will be donated to the Calgary Health Foundation.

“We chose Calgary Health Foundation because we really wanted our club to contribute to healthcare.

“I’ve really experienced how charities can really not only have a positive impact for patients but for health care workers as well. It’s really close to our hearts,” said Migue.

Club members collaborate to determine pricing for art pieces being put up for sale before being listed online.

Migue added pricing has been deliberately made very affordable in order to try and encourage sales. Thus far, she said, the club has made and donated roughly 200 dollars.

The pieces are viewable, and purchasable through the club’s website and Facebook page.