The Art of Art attracts top artists from across the city to support vulnerable and at-risk youth

The Art of Art attracts top artists from across the city to support vulnerable and at-risk youth

When Tania first came to Youth Unlimited’s Creative Life art program, she needed an outlet and people who cared—what she got was so much more. Art afforded her a healthy way to cope with family tensions and the creative community gave her much-needed support at a time when depression and panic attacks were isolating.  “The youth workers noticed that something was going on and tried to help me,” says Tania. “Danny [YU youth worker] mentored me and taught be me to take care of myself and value myself as an important human being. As we talked about life, I started to slowly push myself to do art again and to talk to friends.” As Tania began to heal and cultivate her skills, it became evident that she had raw talent and an artistic gifting that could now being nurtured.


Today, against all odds, Tania is daring to dream that somehow, the doors of university will open to her so she can foster her gift and teach others. YU is behind her every step of the way, and invites the Greater Vancouver community to help not only Tania, but the thousands of youth they work with, by attending The Art of Art: A Westcoast Formal event on Saturday, November 18 at 7PM.


In partnership with Art! Vancouver and Orbiiit, The Art of Art fundraiser is an interactive and innovative artistic engagement event for guests. From live art-making, to food tasting; from savory innovation, to soulful music and dancing, guests get to observe and participate as art is created.


Art from the 10 onsite, featured artists, as well as art from multiple artists across Greater Vancouver, will be on sale at the event’s silent auction, as well as items from some of Vancouver’s favorite stores and hot spots. Art created at the event will be auctioned off at the end of the night. Guests will get to select the winning food innovators and even decide which tattoo will be forever house on the back of a daring YU supporter who is creatively raising funds for YU’s at-risk and vulnerable youth. Tickets and more info:


Kathy van Gogh, one of The Art of Art’s featured live-painting artists, is sharing her talent to support vulnerable youth because she understands the myriad of unique struggles that can thwart a young life—and she knows it can also be overcome.


If Kathy’s last name sounds like a fun coincidence, it’s because it’s actually the real deal. Her father’s great-great-great grandfather was Vincent van Gogh’s uncle. And yes, the talent runs in the family—but the challenge is a name of such historic renowned can intimidate the young away from their own passions more strongly than it can invite them.


“I remember being mesmerized as a four-year old, watching some fallen crayons melt on the heater,” says Kathy. “I always had a passion for colour and a strong interest in art but I avoided it for a very long time. The family name was a double-edged sword.” It took Kathy decades and complementary career paths to finally accept she is truly an artist. And an incredibly talented one.


The name couldn’t help but accompany what felt like daunting expectations, but it was the knowledge of what her famous ancestor was known for that was a great source of shame for her father and had him shying away from his gifting as well.


As an adult, Kathy knows that many youth today struggle with varying degrees of mental illness, and providing support instead of fostering shame and isolation is best way to help our kids. Kathy’s Art of Art public creation will be to paint Guns and Roses singer, Duff McKagen, who’s story of childhood addiction and abandonment turned to one of redemption and inspiration.


While some artists like Kathy will present their work in a format where guests observe and engage with the artist but not the art, others have mediums that provide space for guests to co-create the art-work. Vancouver’s own internationally-exhibited and SSHRC-funded fellow, prOphecy sun will be onsite helping guests create soundscapes using looping pedals. prOphecy’s artworks have ranged from performances, sound compositions, installations, videos and dance and currently her doctoral research is celebrating where art and life are inseparable, and inexhaustibly overlapped—much like at The Art of Art fundraiser.


“The biggest thing I see when working with youth is the profound impact that goes along with trying new materials and approaches to making something they never knew they could make before,” says prOphecy. “I have seen incredible things happen when you encourage someone, and when you can help them release feelings or something that might be holding them back.”



What:   The Art of Art: A Westcoast Formal, Youth Unlimited’s first large-scale fundraiser

Where: The historic Pipe Shop on the water, North Vancouver, 115 Victory Ship Way

When: 7:00PM – 11:00PM

Cost:    $50 (early bird rate until Oct. 23)



Why:     To help vulnerable and at-risk youth across Greater Vancouver through mentorship

and practical help with Youth Unlimited


Onsite Artists – All creating original works of art on site:

  • Cory Larocque, Nokatsi: Northwest Coast Carver
  • Karlie Carpentier Rosin: Figurative art, acrylic paint on canvas
  • Kathy Van Gogh: Water colour portrait
  • prOphecy sun: Performance and participatory installation.
  • Skyla Wayrynen: Abstract portrait, painting, acrylic on canvas
  • Stephen Quissy: Pottery
  • Taisha Teal: Acrylic with spray paint
  • Tatiana Rivero Sanz: Unique photo portraits
  • **Special Addition, up-and-coming artist and YU alumni Tania will be painting digitally on an art tablet, creating projections onscreen which will be transformed into print-pieces.
  • Tattoo Artist: TBA


*Watch a quick video by your favorite artist + vote for them: (computer only)


Participating Food Innovators:

  • C’est Si Bon: Food truck innovator
  • Save on Meats: Innovator in restaurant + food provision
  • Chefs Tom + Thai – Top chefs at UGM, community food innovation
  • Fliptop Filipino – Food truck innovator


*Watch a quick video by your favorite chef + vote for them:  (computer only)



Special Artist Feature

  • Ayame Villaroel, Bloom + Paper artist, will have a competed installation at the event photo booth


Musical features:

  • DJ Justin
  • Soul/funk artists


Thank you to our partners:

  • Art! Vancouver
  • Orbiiit Technologies
  • Daily Hive
  • Black Kettle Brewing
  • Red Letter Videos




Youth Unlimited has been helping young people discover their potential since 1947. With nine chapters in Greater Vancouver, YU provides caring relationships and developmental opportunities for vulnerable youth through relevant programs and individual connections, aimed at fostering mental, physical, social, spiritual and emotional well-being among young people in the community.






Keela Keeping, Marketing & Communications Director, Youth Unlimited



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