Artist Cameron Cross doing some restoration work on Altona's "Sunflowers" painting. The recreation of Van Gogh's famous work is Altona's claim to fame as the World's Largest Paining on an Easel.
After artist Cameron Cross completed the restoration work on Altona’s giant painting on an easel last summer, members of town council decided they should find a way to cover any future costs of the painting’s upkeep.
Thus, the Van Gogh Project was formed. A fundraising committee was put in charge of this project.
This small group recently chose to call themselves Altogether 4 Van Gogh.
Local artist and group member Elizabeth Falk had already laid some of the ground work for a future fundraising idea.
Cross had to remove sections of the original fiberglass canvas when he restored the “Sunflowers” painting.
At that time, he said it would be a shame for these older pieces to just be tossed away.
He asked Falk if there was any way the salvaged material could be stored and possibly used to make promotional material in the future.
After a bit of brainstorming, the group came up with a clever plan.
They decided to cut these large painted pieces into smaller pieces, so they could eventually be packaged, promoted and sold as miniature pieces of original art, signed and numbered by Cameron Cross.The proceeds would go to the Van Gogh Project.
“These pieces might become fridge magnets, necklaces, buttons or any number of other gift items to sell and promote tourism for our town. There are also a number of other larger pieces of painted fiberglass that have not been touched, and could be used for more projects down the road,” Falk says.
About 1,000 small rectangles of the painted fiberglass have been cut.
The next stage will be removing the rotted wood from the backs of each of these pieces.
This is something that could take weeks for a few individuals. So Falk rallied the group, looking for a way to include the community in this project.
The plan is to host a work day event, inviting volunteers from the Gardens as well as members of the community to come out and help them prepare these miniature pieces, so that they can be turned into promotional items.
The Altogether 4 Van Gogh event will take place Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Gardens on Tenth courtyard shelters. Lunch will be $5 a person.
Volunteers are asked to bring their tools, clamps, 3/4” to 1” chisels, hammers and work gloves.