York talent creates art to help fund Canada’s athletes

You may not think poetry and freestyle skiing have much to do with each other but Priscila Uppal, professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, has combined them in a personal art project to support Canada’s Olympic team.

Left: Priscila Uppal

A devoted hockey fan as well as creative writer and faculty member in the Department of English, Uppal is one of 30 Canadians who have created personal artworks for Talent Supporting Talent, an exhibit and auction of art in aid of the Canadian Athletes Now Fund (CAN Fund). The non-profit organization is dedicated to raising funds for Canadian athletes heading for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Anyone can learn about the artists, view the works and bid for them online at the CAN Fund auction Web site.

Uppal’s contributions to the exhibit are two 15 x 15-inch prints of her poems, one titled “Aerials”, which describes the essence of freestyle skiing, and another titled "Figure Skates Love Poem", which ranked near the top of the bidding last week. Barry Callaghan (left), professor emeritus and distinguished scholar at York University, where he was a professor of contemporary literature for 37 years, has contributed a 20 x 20-inch painting, titled They Say Judas Has Red Hair. York grad Christian Bök (PhD ’98), a best-selling experimental poet, created a piece titled Odalisque 04 (Veronique).

Other well-known Canadians who have created works for the exhibit include musicians Jann Arden, Chantal Kreviazuk and Jim Creeggan (Barenaked Ladies); broadcasters Ron MacLean and Kim Parlee; visual artist Charles Pachter; astronaut Roberta Bondar; Peter MacKay, minister of national defence; actors Colin Mochrie and Cynthia Dale, and more.

The Talent Supporting Talent Night, one of several special exhibition nights, runs from 7 to 10:30pm Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the Jane Roos Gallery, 108 Berkeley St. in Toronto, and will be hosted by Sami Jo Small, Olympic gold medallist in women’s hockey, and trampoline athlete Karen Cockburn, a former York student and three-time Olympian who has won a silver and a bronze medal.

The Final Bidding Night exhibition runs from 7pm to midnight on Monday, Nov. 2, with all bids closing at 11:30pm.

The exhibit runs at the Jane Roos Gallery, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10am to 10pm, and Sundays from noon to 7pm, through Nov. 2.