This Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Little Thing will celebrate its sweet sixteen at The Owens Art Gallery. Over the years, the annual event has become a Sackville staple that raises money to support programming at both the Owens and Struts galleries.
“It has an incredible legacy,” said Ryan Suter, who coordinates new media at Faucet Media Arts Centre.
The fundraiser includes a photo booth, cake walk, and raffle, but the highlight of the night is the art auction, which will include over 90 different art pieces submitted by Struts Gallery members and supporters from across the country.
“You have to have some connection to the galleries in order to be included, so we have a lot of contributors who have completed residencies or exhibited at Struts or the Owens in the past,” said Suter.
This year’s list of artists includes many names that supporters of the Sackville arts scene will recognize, such as Mitchell Wiebe, whose work was included in “Meeting Places,” a group show exhibited at the Owens last year.
“We’re always getting new artists who want to contribute,” said Suter. “Artists come from across the country to complete residencies in Sackville, and most of them really enjoy the experience and want to give back.”
Micah Lexier is another well- known artist who has contributed to this year’s auction. Earlier in the year, his work was included in the both the “Oh, Canada” and “Reading Room” exhibitions at The Owens.
At Sweetest Little Thing, Lexier’s piece will be joining those of other “Oh, Canada” veterans from across the country, such as Hadley+Maxwell, Michael Fernandes, and Michel de Broin.
“There’s a core of local artists who generally contribute every year,” said Suter. Local artists who will be represented at the auction include: Graeme Patterson, Jon Claytor, Angela Thibodeau, Erika Sullivan, Adriana Kuiper, and Andrea Mortson.
“There’s a really diverse range of talent from all sorts of different backgrounds,” said Suter.
All the pieces included in the auction will be exhibited at the Owens on Thursday and Friday, providing students and community members with a chance to preview the artwork before it is auctioned off.
Tickets to Sweetest Little Thing can be purchased for $5 at Struts, Thunder & Lightning, and the Owens. Tickets will also be sold at the door when the venue opens at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14.