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About Us

What we do

What if you could empower someone who has experienced homelessness, a disability or other adversity by helping them exhibit art they’ve created and show it to the world? What if they could earn an income by selling merchandise with their art on it, such as phone covers, tea towels, puzzles or greeting cards?

Open Canvas was created to empower disadvantaged artists and help them with these issues.

The artists we help are from a range of backgrounds. Some have lived on the street; some have experienced substance abuse and addiction; some are on low incomes within supported and crisis accommodation; and others live with mental health issues and disability. All are united in their desire to be recognised through their art.

Rodney Mallee at an Open Canvas workshop

When you buy art from Open Canvas, you are making a positive impact on the lives of these artists. They are empowered through recognition of their talent and a sense of achievement. Artists also receive a minimum of 70 per cent of profits from your purchase, providing them with a source of income.

By helping artists sell prints and other products, Open Canvas provides artists with the opportunity for repeat income once their original artwork is sold.

 

Open Canvas can also help artists in other ways. For some, not having basic art supplies – a brush, a canvas, paint – limits their ability to do art. Other artists benefit from mentoring and guidance from professional artists, to take their art to the next level. Open Canvas can help artists in these ways by facilitating mentoring opportunities and providing art supplies.

We also seek out other opportunities for artists, including opportunities to exhibit their work and engage with other third parties through, for example, commissions and licensing of artwork.

Open Canvas will hold its inaugural exhibition of 16 artists at fortyfivedownstairs, a non-profit gallery in Melbourne’s CBD, from 7 to 18 February 2017.

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Digitising some artwork