December saw the Patrick John Mills Contemporary Fine Art Gallery open its doors for the fourth annual Art of Giving Show.
This year’s show benefited Bruce House, a community-based organization that provides housing, care and support in Ottawa for people living with HIV and AIDS.
Every year the gallery takes no commission for the entire month of December and asks its artists to donate unsold paintings to local organizations.
“One hundred percent of sales go directly to the artists for the Art of Giving Show,” says owner Patrick John Mills. “Each artist is asked to donate one piece of artwork. Some artists are very generous and give much more.”
Mills says the gallery takes a loss during the show, but he has no intention of stopping. “I believe so strongly in the Art of Giving. So the beat goes on,” he says.
In previous years the gallery has donated to Grace Manor, Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services, and the Elizabeth Fry Society.
“These organizations are focused on clients or individuals who have certain obstacles to face or overcome. AIDS is something that scares people, people who have drug addictions trouble people, and women who have gone to prison are difficult for people to embrace and welcome,” Mills says.
“Over the years we have become much more open-minded and our understanding of AIDS is more educated. But there is always more room for improvement.”
Mills donated the paintings to Bruce House as a way of giving back. “Bruce House deals with intense issues. I know that the clients and staff there need art. And that they do not have the budget for it,” he says. “Art is so important.”
“My hope is to inspire artists to donate more to highly valued organizations in our community. My vision is to see all the art that has been donated in our community in five, 10, 15, 20 years, and I feel in my heart that art is being shared and artists are being encouraged,” Mills says.