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London, Ont. art gallery celebrates International Women’s Day, raises funds for LAWC – London

London, Ont.  art gallery celebrates International Women’s Day, raises funds for LAWC – London

As Wednesday marks International Women’s Day, an art gallery in London, Ont., is taking some time to honor and celebrate with a new exhibition and fundraiser.

ArtWith Panache, located in the Talbot Center at 465 Richmond St., features work by more than 30 women from across the region and beyond in their International Women’s Day Art Show.

Audrey Cooper, owner and founder of the gallery, said that she really wanted to highlight the international aspect of International Women’s Day with this exhibit.

“I wanted to make it international and have women from different countries who have come to London and settled here – artists who really aren’t in the stream yet,” she said. “Just about 12 of the artists are from other countries, from India, Africa and different locations, and they’re here now trying to establish themselves.”

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Additionally, a silent auction of art, jewelry and other items is also being hosted by the gallery with all proceeds going towards the London Abused Women’s Center (LAWC).

“I think we’ve got around 60, maybe 65 pieces of art to sell,” Cooper estimates.

Click to play video: 'International Women's Day focuses on embracing equity'

International Women’s Day focuses on embracing equity

“We absolutely love when organizations take it upon themselves to raise not only funds, but raise awareness of our work, this time for International Women’s Day,” said Jennifer Dunn, executive director of the LAWC.

“It shows women and girls in our community that they are not alone, and that the community supports them,” she continued. “We are happy to see what ArtWithPanache is doing, and we are grateful for the support.”

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Cooper said that planning for the exhibit began just over a month ago after hearing that the LAWC 23rd annual International Women’s Day Breakfast event wasn’t going to be held on March 8.

“I saw this year it was at one of the hotels downtown, and it was on Friday. So being an art gallery, we thought it would be a good idea to have something on the day itself,” he said.

Audrey Cooper, owner and founder of ArtWithPanache.

Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

Originally from Toronto, Cooper, who is 95 years old, opened the gallery around 10 years ago; she started painting when she was 76.

“I wanted to have a place for the artists in London who were not famous or well known, emerging artists, where they could show their work,” she said. “There didn’t seem to be any place there in London for that time.”

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Cooper added that International Women’s Day has always been of interest to her and that the gallery, which is run mostly by women, “couldn’t be more excited to celebrate.”

The exhibit opened Wednesday at 10 am and will continue until March 17. The silent auction will continue until Friday.

More information can be found on their website.

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