by Brian Lapuz and Carl Perks
For the twelfth year running, 26 budding artists painted in the midst of the packed room of the 5B.16 Reception Hall for Artists in Bloom, an event organized by Dawson’s Blue Ring Honour Society, fund raising for the Tony Proudfoot Fund of the ALS Society of Quebec.
The students from Dawson’s Illustration & Design and Fine Arts programs painted and raised over $9,000 through the auction and ticket sales last Thursday.
The night began with guests walking about the room, mingling, eating appetizers and drinking wine and beer as the artists gave life to their blank canvases.
These creative and talented students had two hours to paint an artistic creation, which had been auctioned later in the evening.
Some of the students settled to restricting their creativity to raise more money for the cause. ‘‘Many of us drew flowers or landscapes knowing that it’s what most people go for,” said Cindy Antonacci, a 4th semester Illustration and Design student, after painting a lion. “It’s not as creative but it’s a safer sell.’’
Other of the more eccentric works featured a cartoon squid and suited men with bubbles as a face proxy.
The auction began at 8 p.m., when CTV’s Rob Laurie opened the auction with an anecdote from his times at Dawson and, of course, explained the history and the purpose of the event.
The mood was exiting and Laurie truly brought life to the room despite some downfalls, such as inappropriate joke, which you could tell from the facial expressions of some of members of the crowd. At times, it just appeared as though he was trying to hard to make the crowd laugh, as he nervously vacillated between college and family friendly humour.
On average, the paintings auctioned off for $200 to $250. The final work auctioned of the night was by Kass Pisonneault brought in the most, selling for $600.
Most impressive during the auction was the starting bid at $160 for a painting by Sasha Lafebre’s blue monochromatic painting of his girlfriend, which then climbed up and was sold at $500.
“[Painting my girlfriend] gave me extra motivation, instead of painting flowers,” said Lafebre. “There’s more than just a painting and I think people felt a story behind it.”
The event has grown steadily every year and has raised about $50,000 for various causes selected by the students. In 2008, the event had raised $8,000 for the Gainey Foundation and the year before that, more than $8,000 was collected for the Montreal General Hospital Trauma Special Care Unit, where most of the Dawson students injured on September 13, 2006 were treated and where lives were saved.