Art With Heart: Interview with Casey House’s Steven Endicott Discussing the 21st Year of the Canadian Contemporary Art Event


Art With Heart 2

The fact that artists are as generous as they are talented and art-lovers are just as benevolent shows itself again and again in the opportunities that pop up in our community to support others.

That’s why Art With Heart, Casey House‘s annual signature event presented by TD, is such a great success. With some of the country’s most notable and exciting contemporary artists donating pieces to the event, those who appreciate art can get a peek at some of the best work today’s artists have to offer – and perhaps even grab a piece if you’re up for the action – while supporting Casey House and raising essential funds for compassionate HIV/AIDS health care initiatives. 

Check out our interview below with Casey House Foundation Chief Development Officer Steven Endicott to find out more about this amazing event, the artists involved, and the wonderful work Casey House is doing in our community.

Kim Dorland - March Break, 2014

Kim Dorland – March Break

Art With Heart is Casey House’s “signature event” and is now in its 21st year. What has made this event so successful/enduring?

From its humble beginnings in a parking lot, Art with Heart has grown into one of the preeminent auctions of contemporary art in Canada.   It launched in 1993 as a way for artists to respond to the loss of their colleagues and peers to AIDS, and to contribute to the compassionate care that Casey House was known for delivering to people living and dying with HIV/AIDS.  Since then, hundreds of artists from across the country have contributed art. Their generosity plays a big part in funding the day-to-day compassionate health care that Casey House delivers to our clients, who continue to struggle every day with the enormous challenges of life with HIV/AIDS.

The success of the event is due, in large part, to the Curatorial Committee who select the works that form the collection each year, and to our outstanding auctioneers, Stephen Ranger and Perry Tung.  Each year, the Committee strikes the right balance of works that are edgy and provocative with works that are more accessible.

Douglas Coupland - Oval Mirror No. 2, 2013

Douglas Coupland – Oval Mirror No. 2

The event will feature work from some of the “country’s most celebrated contemporary artists.” Can you tell us about a few of the artists – for instance Douglas Coupland, Kim Dorland, Erik Olson, Nicholas Pye and Sheila Pye – and why their work was chosen for the Art With Heart?

The Curatorial Committee spends many hours, individually and as a collective, soliciting works from artists around the country – the established artists who are already well-recognized, and the emerging artists, who are just beginning what look to be exciting careers, in the judgment of our very astute committee.  When all of the submissions have been received (sometimes as many as six or seven hundred) the Committee pores over the works and makes the difficult choice of selecting approximately 85 works that comprise the collection.  Striking the balance is no easy task, and requires many hours of debate.

Art With Heart “will benefit a number of Casey House’s initiatives.” Can you tell us more about the initiatives that the event and the community can/will support?

NICHOLAS PYE AND SHEILA PYE - Unspoiled, 2013

NICHOLAS PYE AND SHEILA PYE – Unspoiled

Funds that are raised through Art With Heart support a range of day-to-day community and outreach programs at Casey House. We have a very robust home nursing care program for clients living in the community, and our social work team helps clients with a range of challenges like finding housing or mental health care. Donors also support child care for HIV positive mothers so they can get the medical care they need, and allow us to staff a street bus with HIV nurses, bringing care to marginalized people who might not have access to treatment otherwise.

There are more people than ever living with HIV in Toronto, and our care has changed to support our clients as they live longer. But HIV/AIDS is a really difficult disease to cope with, particularly as you age.  So our care at Casey House has become much wider-ranging and complex, because everyone has different health care needs. Donor funding, and events like Art With Heart, are what make it all possible. We’re really grateful for the support.

Casey House’s Art With Heart annual contemporary art auction and reception presented by TD will take place on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at The Carlu (444 Yonge Street). Tickets for the event are on sale now at www.artwithheart.ca.