Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Playing the odds with Union Gallery

Making good art requires hard work and exceptional talent, but thanks to Union Gallery, getting good art simply requires a bit of luck. That’s the idea behind Cezanne’s Closet, Union Gallery’s annual fundraiser. Attendees of the event are entered into a draw to win artwork that has been donated by artists from Queen’s, Kingston and beyond.

Union Gallery has been open in Stauffer Library since 1994. (University Communications) 

While musicians play and hors d’oeuvres are served, those at the fundraiser get to view the available art pieces, speak to artists and track their favourites. Once everyone has made their picks, names are drawn one by one and the winners get to choose their prize.

“It’s a fantastic event,” says Jocelyn Purdie, Director, Union Gallery. “Queen’s staff, faculty, parents, alumni and community members all come out to show their support.”  

Even though everyone in attendance will win a piece eventually, there’s still a healthy spirit of competition.

“People cheer when their name gets picked and groan when it doesn’t, so we keep the atmosphere fun,” she says.

Proceeds from the event go towards supporting Union Gallery, a non-profit gallery that includes exhibits of contemporary work by students from the Bachelor of Fine Arts program as well as other student artists and professionals. Located in Stauffer Library, the gallery has professional staff, but students play a large role in its operation.

“Students are involved in every aspect of the gallery: its board of directors, its committees, its programming of displayed work and events, and the gallery’s governance,” says Ms. Purdie.

"Oh Dear ..." by Laura Rosentzveig is among the pieces available at Cezanne's Closet. 

Because Cezanne’s Closet holds such importance to the gallery, students are happy to make a contribution.

“The event is a great way to support the gallery and an excellent professional opportunity for the student artists involved,” says Lindsay Wilson, BFA ’15 and the President of Union Gallery. “Cezanne’s Closet is a bridge between Queen’s and Kingston’s art communities.”

She says the event and the benefit it confers to gallery are a major boon to fine arts students.

“Union Gallery is a huge draw to the BFA program at Queen’s — getting to show your work at a professional gallery while still a student is something you otherwise don’t get a chance to do,” she says.

Cezanne’s Closet is on Saturday, Feb. 7. Tickets are $150 can be purchased from Union Gallery’s website