(Contributed) Rianne Keel (left) and Caitlin Legault are the founders of Art Church, an artists collective in Male Ridge.

Art Party by Art Church at the fairgrounds in Maple Ridge

Event takes place June 1

Art Church is back with an art party at the fairgrounds.

This is the third show in a year for the artist collective, founded by art model and face painter Caitlin Legault and fellow painter and burlesque artist Rianne Keel, who didn’t see any group that fit their style or perspective in this area.

The collective prides itself on being an all-inclusive group with no fees or rules and features low-brow artists and those who they feel are under-represented in the art world, such as indigenous artists, gay and lesbian artists and intergenerational art.

The first show was held in August last year in Legault’s backyard. Due to demand, the pair held another show in November for Christmas, this time in Pitt Meadows.

Now there are so many contributors, they have moved the show to the Albion Fairgrounds.

And, Legault said, no two shows are alike.

“Every show we do is going to be unexpected,” Legault added.

The show, for 19 and older, is going to feature more than 50 artists in myriad genres, from photography, painting, illustrators, jewelery, clay work, leather work, metal work, stone work and woodwork, said Legault.

Performers will include a contortionist and acrobat Vixen Von Flex, burlesque artist April O’Peel, sword swallower Vivianne Oblivion, the high-energy bluegrass band The Still Spirits and the Chilliwack punk band Cheese Haüg, which will be performing dressed up as nuns.

There will also be a fundraiser for Ovarian Cancer Canada in memory of Ashley Luther, or Elly Mayday, a famous Canadian plus-sized model and women’s health advocate who passed away from the disease in March of last year.

The Doodle Girls will be doing body art by donation to Ovarian Cancer Canada and 50 per cent of a bake sale proceeds will be going towards the same cause.

There will be a life-drawing session at 2 p.m. and raffles, including one for a pin-up photography package.

Legault wants Art Church to be a platform for indigenous artists and there will be a welcoming ceremony by Dennis Leon of the Kwantlen First Nation.

The show will have a church theme with organ music, gospel singers, sermons and a procession, “all in the name of art”, said Legault.

There will even be a small cathedral in the barn.

Legault thought when they first started the collective there would be backlash from the community because of the church theme, but instead, she said, the collective has been well received.

“Art Church is all about everyone is welcome, anyone can be an artist, it’s pretentious-free,” said Legault, adding that it’s about supporting one another.

“It’s going to be the greatest show on earth,” she said.

• Art Party takes place from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 1 at the Albion Fairgrounds, 23448 Jim Robson Way in Maple Ridge.



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