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SAIT alumna launches charitable art project encouraging people to #stayhome

Artist launches line of glass houses to help fill Calgary Food Bank pantries
Artist launches line of glass houses to help fill Calgary Food Bank pantries.

Michelle Atkinson, 2019 Made In Alberta Award winner, and SAIT alumna, New Media Production and Design '03, is uniting creativity and charity with the launch of her #StayHome line of one-of-a-kind, glass house sculptures — with a portion of the proceeds going to the Calgary Food Bank.

The project launches Saturday, April 25 with a live Instagram art show. Guests are encouraged to put on their party clothes and join Atkinson as she unveils the collection of glass houses, talks about the inspiration behind the project and answers questions at the virtual gallery opening. The Instagram live party starts at 7 pm MT.

Typically inspired by the natural world, the pandemic and social-distancing measures have allowed Atkinson to find a new muse in what’s visible from her living space: cascades of homes where Calgarians are isolating to help flatten the curve in the Covid-19 pandemic.

“While separated by physical distance, we are all connected with a shared experience. This artwork mirrors the current moment in which humankind stands together,” says Atkinson.

The 300+ glass houses — of all shapes, sizes and colours — highlight the individual experience of dealing with a global pandemic, but, when viewed as a whole, represent a visual landscape of the way we are all connected, even in our separate spaces.

“What the crisis gives us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our country in the plainest of views. These small, brightly coloured sculptures represent physical space, us in our homes, but also the hope, love and community that has risen through the pandemic,” says Atkinson.

Building on the community theme, buyers will be encouraged to share photos of their glass houses residing in their new homes on Instagram, by tagging @matkinsonyyc.

Houses will be sold by random based on buyers’ selections of colour and price. In a unique twist, each will be priced by weight. Buyers will be able to choose a price point and colour — blues, pinks, earth tones and more — and Atkinson will handpick a house.

For each sale, Atkinson will donate 25% to the Calgary Food Bank — an organization that has seen a steep increase in need in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For more information about the #StayHome project and the Instagram live gallery opening, along with links to buy the houses, visit Michelle's website.

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