I first heard of Timeraiser when I lived in Ottawa back in 2009. It's a unique concept that enables artists to sell their artwork to the organization which, in turn, enables art patrons to bid for the artwork in exchange for their time volunteering for various non-for-profit organizations. Fast forward 6 years later, I decided to attend the event in Toronto last night and it was quite inspiring.
There was a lot of interesting artwork, a lot people interested in volunteering in exchange for the artwork as well as great live art installations by various local artists. I didn't plan on staying long but I ended up staying for 4 hours!
Artists were making portraits of the visitors. The lines were long to get the opportunity to be sketched by them. It's quite impressive that they were producing so many portraits surrounded by so much activity around them.
An artist called dahae invited visitors to co-create art pieces with her by leaving their handprints on canvas fabric fixed on the wall.
Some artist quietly created their work in their bubble while others involved visitors in their work. It's interesting to see the different way artists create.
I was particularly fond of the work of Jonathan Edwin Simpon who patiently engrave wood trucks with letters creating some sort of poem. Very inspiring!
I really like the way it was set up. There was drinks and food for everyone as well as a clever game Timeraiser put together. We were given a Nonprofit Passport including the logos of each of the participating organizations. They had a booth in the main area to talk to visitors. And for each representative we spoke to, we got a stamp on our passport. If we collected at least 6 stamps, we could participate to a contest to win a prize. This encouraged visitors (including myself) to go talk to the organizations reps and find out the amazing work some of them do. In my case, I found out about groups I genuinely would love to get involved with. Kudo's to Timeraiser for an effective solution to getting more people to connect.
From what I gather, it was a huge success. Timeraiser Toronto raised 15,863 volunteer hours last night. There's probably more to come from those who, like me, who plan to connect with great organizations such as Emerging Young Artists, Full Circle and Luminato amongst many others. And if you're interested in participating as an artist, they are still accepting submission for their online version here : http://www.timeraiser.ca/artist