For the month of February, artist duo John Gasgot and Mary Gallagher-Stout, known as The Art Monkeys, are holding their second annual Have a Heart Project. To express their enthusiasm for making art more accessible to the community, The Art Monkeys are hosting an installation that will feed both the mind and body. For this year’s exhibit, 1200 originally designed paper lunch bags will be displayed, with 100 of them designed by students from Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School and 400 bags designed by various guest artists. The remaining 700 are created by The Art Monkeys themselves. The artists have customized these simple bags with their own touch of mixed-media, to include photography, fiber, glass and even miniature lights to create a luminous room decoration.
Each lunch bag will be priced at $10, and with every art piece sold, The Art Monkeys will use 100% of the proceeds for canned goods to donate to Food for Others to assist the unemployed and low-income neighbors in the community.
The Art Monkeys chose the basic brown paper lunch bag as their art vessel for this year’s project because they wanted to create a visual connection between the art itself and feeding the community. “They [the bags] are indicative of food,” says Gasgot. “It’s food for others and art for us,” Stout chimes in, “[it’s] a direct representation of what the customers are buying.” The bag is a tangible item of personal size that makes it easy to display individually or group together for a collection as a reminder of your support for the project.
The Have a Heart Project stemmed from The Art Monkeys’ love for the community and interest in making art a social relationship with the public. Stout previously worked with Food for Others on various projects and appreciated the value placed on helping the community. “I wanted to make sure that whoever we paired with, the food went to who it’s supposed to go to.” The Art Monkeys expressed that Food for Others is a safety net. “It’s not just for the poor; it’s to help anybody at any time.”
In last year’s Have a Heart Project, The Art Monkeys invited the community to help them decorate an empty kitchen, collecting a total of 750 pounds of food. Their goal this year is surpass that number to feed even more individuals and families through their artwork.
The Art Monkeys want to introduce people to collecting art, and this project seems to be a step in the right direction. Gasgot and Stout explain that art is experiential, a community and sharing of the ideas. “You don’t have to be a billionaire,” says Stout. “People just want to be original.” The Art Monkeys want to emphasize that giving back doesn’t have to mean donating a fortune – purchasing a single piece of art for $10 is a small step to giving to the greater community. For more information on their mission to educate the public about art, visit their blog at http://theartmonkeys.blogspot.com/.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the Art Monkeys wanted to show their love to more than just one person. “Our community will be our Valentine,” smiles Stout.
The Have a Heart Project invites you to feed your artistic eyes on these lunch bags starting February 6, 2013 in Studio Building W-4. An opening reception will take place during the 2nd Saturday Art Walk on February 9, from 6 to 9pm in Studio Building W-4.
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THIS WEEK AT THE WORKHOUSE
- For Love: Collection Saturday, February 9, 12-9pm, Campus-wide.
- Collectors Showcase 2013, January 26- February 23 in the McGuireWoods Gallery.
- Drink This! The Workhouse International Ceramic Cup Show, January 9-February 10 in Building W-8.
- Dinner & a Movie Nights: Carmen Jones, in the W-3 Theatre, February 8 at 8pm.
- Sleeping Beauty—The Broken Spell, Children’s Theater in the W-3 Theatre, February 9 at 1pm.
- Workhouse Associate Artists January 9-February 3, Vulcan Gallery.
- February exhibitions in all seven artist studio buildings.
- Workhouse Prison Museum in Building W-9.
Stop by and visit us!
The Workhouse is open Wednesday – Saturday from 11am – 7pm and Sundays from 12 – 5pm. The Workhouse Prison Museum is open Wednesday – Friday from 12 – 3pm and Saturday – Sunday from 12 – 4pm. Visit www.WorkhouseArts.org for more information, to purchase tickets or to register for classes.
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