Outdoor art gallery brightens up Winnipeg neighborhood during pandemic

By | March 31, 2020

Art galleries have closed around the city, but one artist has decided to curate an outdoor gallery of her own in the yard of her Lord Roberts neighborhood home.  

Shirley Levacy owns the Great Blue Art Studio. She set up an exhibition along her fence on Sunday. 

“I think one of the biggest messages is hope,” she said. “When we are facing a future that is unknown and we don’t know how it’s going to play out in the long run, we still need hope.” 

Artist Shirley Levacy set up gallery outside because she wanted to give people hope during troubling times. (John Einarson/CBC)

With 24 pieces of art set up she hopes that beauty and creativity will help cheer up those who need it. 

Betty Winterhalt lives in the neighborhood. The nurse visited the gallery on her dog walk and believes it’s a great way to “brighten up whatever is going on in everyone’s life.” 

“It’s lovely to see some bright and cheery stuff because all you hear is the down stuff, and how bad it’s getting,” she said.

For Levacy, she understands the power art can have.  She’s been using art as therapy with young people, those in hospital and people with disabilities for ten years. 

She said she’s witnessed the power art can have on someone and the it’s ability to lift people out of challenging situations over the years. 

Twenty-four art pieces are on display outdoors in the Lord Roberts neighborhood. Levacy says art is a good form of therapy. (John Einarson/CBC)

That belief in art is why she’s decided to create her outdoor gallery. 

“I think art is a way to take a break from the stresses that we’re dealing with. And to have some time of reflection and quiet to focus on things that are beautiful and lovely,” Levacy said.

As a teacher and artist she hopes that her gallery will inspire people to make art at home and benefit from the therapeutic relief it provides her and those she works with.

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