The results of a baking/painting project that kept two Red Deer artists productive during the pandemic can now be seen at the Viewpoint Gallery.
Our Daily Bread, an exhibit by Erin Boake and Marnie Blair, is a series of 50 photographs and 50 paintings that represent a year-long journey into the unknown.
When the pandemic started early in 2020, Boake, who runs the Artribute Art School, and Blair, who teaches art at Red Deer College, had a lot of time on their hands. Boake had temporarily closed her school, while Blair lost access to her studio.
To fill their time creatively, the two friends came up with a collaborative project. It involved Blair baking a new load of bread each day, taking a photo of it, and emailing it to Boake, who then painted a still life from the image.
By measuring ingredients, kneading and baking with her six year old, Blair found solace and “sanity in recipes for stillness by channeling anxious energy into the kitchen instead of the studio.”
Boake, the mother of a three year old and six year old, painted after her children were asleep. She believes the work became a “pandemic time capsule,” strengthened her friendship with Blair.
The duo feel their project was fuelled “by a need to create and desire to connect.”
Eventually 14 of Boake’s paintings were auctioned off online, raising nearly $2,000 for The Mustard Seed, a non-profit helping the homeless.
But as the pandemic wasn’t over, Blair kept baking, and Boake kept painting — and the full results of their artistic collaboration are now showing at the Viewpoint Gallery in Red Deer’s new Culture Services Centre (in the former Central Intermediate School) at 5205-48th Ave.
All 50 paintings have been purchased by supportive women, helping generate a reliable income source for the artists during a difficult year.
The Our Daily Bread exhibit is on until Sept. 4. There will be a reception and artists’ talk on Thursday, July 22, from 6 to 9 p.m.