Canadian visual artist and educator Sara Tremblay has made the lives of many other Canadian artists a lot brighter by starting a Facebook group titled “Les Encans de la quarantine” to auction off Canadian artists’ work. Tremblay took note of the stress and worry her friends and students were going through as many of them did not know where their income would be coming from in the coming months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Without art galleries and public exhibitions to display the work of Canadian artists, it can be hard to present and sell pieces to the public.
When asked how she first came up with the idea and what inspired her to start this project, Tremblay mentioned that her students have inspired her. Many of her students had started to share each other’s work on social media which gave her the idea to start an online platform. She wanted to do something that would make the work of local artists circulate as well as provide an income for these artists.
Tremblay decided to use Facebook as a platform to display the artwork of friends and students and to auction these pieces off to the public. She created the Facebook group “Les Encans de la quarantine” in hopes of matching art pieces to potential buyers for her friends and students. What Tremblay did not expect was the major interest in this group and the continuous increase in sales. Tremblay has auctioned off $25k worth of artwork through the Facebook group and the group has currently over 4,500 members. Not only has she created sales and revenue for her friends and students, but she has also created long-term work for them as well. Many buyers through “Les Encans de la quarantine” have not only purchased the artwork of many, but they have also contacted these artists and asked for more work in the future.
Tremblay started “Les Encans de la quarantine” from the comfort of her own home doing most of the work herself, and since then has acquired the helping hands of 5-6 volunteers each from their own homes. Tremblay has received an abundance of support from friends, students, and buyers as well. She mentioned that many local artists did not previously have a platform where they could display their art and due to this, their art was not being seen by the public. By creating “Les Encans de la quarantine”, Tremblay has provided these artists with an opportunity and platform to share their work with other artists and the public. Tremblay wanted “Les Encans de la quarantine” to be a supportive platform where artists could encourage each other and appreciate the work of peers.
Tremblay plans to continue building the platform in the future and hopes to hire more people to help her with the project. She currently has a lot of ideas and plans for “Les Encans de la quarantine” and plans to make it a way for artists to sell directly to the public instead of using a medium such as a gallery. Tremblay’s main goal with “Les Encans de la quarantine” is to continue to provide a space where artists can support and encourage each other and share their creations with the public.
Seeing the work of her friends and students being displayed on a platform other than the regular gallery or exhibit has been the most inspiring part according to Tremblay. She has worked to provide friends and students with an income they would have otherwise been missing out on due to the pandemic and she has provided her community with a supply of artwork by Canadian artists.
To learn more about Sara A. Tremblay and “Les Encans de la quarantine”, visit https://www.facebook.com/lesencansdelaquarantaine/