Selected by Patrik Andersson
How Artists For Kids (AFK) was founded:
In the late 1980s a group of secondary school teachers, wanting to provide a significant art experience for their students, began selecting promising pupils to attend artist-led master classes. When schools began facing severe funding cutbacks and art education was treated as disposable, the founders of AFK were determined to find a way for students to continue receiving the high-caliber art education that had proven to be effective and inspiring. Needing a financial model that would be sustainable and support the educational objectives of AFK, a print program was developed.
How they build their portfolio
AFK’s acquisition committee purchases a major work by a selected artist. That work then goes into a teaching collection at The Gordon Smith Gallery of Art and the artist in turn donates their time and talent to create an original print, photograph or sculpture. The entire limited run of the art becomes exclusive to AFK to sell with proceeds funding educational programs, art camps for teachers and students, and future acquisitions.
Thanks to the exceptional inspiration of our Founding Patron Artists Gordon Smith, Jack Shadbolt and Bill Reid, AFK’s educational programs have developed some of Canada’s most significant art curriculums. Bill Reid created the first print almost 30 years ago and, with some of Canada’s most renowned artists following his example, the collection has steadily grown into a significant art portfolio offering collectors a unique opportunity to support cultural growth in Vancouver’s communities.
The most recent major acquisition purchase was with ECUAD professor Elizabeth McIntosh whose Batt’s Rock (2015) can be seen in the picture above and generated the very limited serigraph edition below titled Diamonds (2019) which due to COVID has waited until now to be launched.