ArtUp to Host Launch Party May 27th 2015

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GN: I get many request to promote different events and this one caught my eye because it is unique and an interesting approach to reach out and help two different sections of the community. It is called ArtUP!

What is ArtUP? According to one of it’s biggest boosters it’s a chance for the Merrimack Valley to come together and help both the art community and Lowell Community Health Center.

Here’s how it was explained to me:

” It’s one of the most exciting projects I’ve ever been involved with. IMHO, it’s a partnership initiative that benefits multiple constituencies, a program that impacts both the healing and the creative arts, and an effort that is both good for people and good for the economy.

On a macro level, we believe, it could lead to a new way to support the arts and make them more accessible to folks of all backgrounds. On a more micro level, it will help to keep artists in Lowell and environs, support the LCHC, and transform the new LCHC Center into an art gallery for the 50,000 Lowellians who get their health care there (not to mention the several hundred staff members and numerous visitors).

Here’s how the program works. ArtUp has a website: www.artuplowell.com. On it are a couple hundred pieces of art, all made by Lowell-area artists, which have been selected by our curatorial team from several hundred submissions. A potential buyer can access the website, review what’s offered, and make some purchases with the artist getting half the price and the LCHC getting the other half. The art purchased then goes up on the walls of the LCHC as part of its permanent display while a plaque is mounted near the piece of art identifying the donor, the artist, the name of the work, and the medium.

For the artists, they get to sell their work at a reasonable, though less than market, price (this was their concession to the program). They are so often asked to simply show their work (in restaurants, etc.) that they are thrilled about the opportunity to actually get paid. A decade or so ago Lowell made a concentrated effort to entice artists to come to live/work in its restored mills. We now have 400+ artists in the city but they’re finding it very tough to make a living. ArtUp, we believe, has the potential of fulfilling the promise made back then.

For the LCHC, it gets to fill its “mile of walls” (six floors, 100k sq. ft.) with locally-made art suitable for a healing environment (we gave the artists tours of the facility so that they could get a feel for what would be appropriate for patients who, as you know, often come from disadvantaged and even violently abusive backgrounds, including many who are recent immigrants fleeing war-torn homelands). It also gets the financial benefit of half the purchase price to support its critical “Wrap Around” needs.

For the donor, it/he/she gets the tax benefit and the donor recognition at each piece of art but also the psychic benefit of giving to an effort which can so favorably impact so many (and for many years to come).

I’m pleased to note that over 100 artists responded to our recent Call with about 450 pieces of art. Now comes the toughest part — selling the art. As part of that effort, we are having a “Launch Party” on May 27th from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Lowell Community Health Center.

Contact Clare Gunther, Director of Development & Communications, at 978.746.7891 or claregu@lchealth.org

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