Exhibit tells stories of struggle first-hand

The Downtown Story Collective presents an art show and sale of work created by Victoria's most vulnerable

It’s not often that Victoria’s homeless and disadvantaged people are behind a book launch or an art show, and are not just the subject.

And it’s not often easy for them to express their inner struggles and feelings openly, but that is what they will be doing at the Downtown Story Collective’s opening reception, this Saturday evening at Dales Gallery.

The Downtown Story Collective is a group of Victoria inner-city residents that have been meeting every Tuesday at Our Place Society to learn and practise ways to express themselves through different types of art, said co-facilitator Meghan Richey.

“This is a culmination of what they have been doing all year,” Richey said. “They are excited and nervous about the reception.”

The group started in January 2012 as a free drop-in class that offered a safe and nurturing place for people to explore their creativity. The supplies are donated by various individuals and the space is donated by the Our Place Society Chapel. The facilitators volunteer their time.

Much of the work in the book will be displayed at the reception, which will also have an open mic for poetry readings. Original artwork will also be on display and for sale, with proceeds going towards keeping the non-profit group going, which is a struggle.

“We rely on people’s donations,” Richey said. “The people who come every week want this to continue and I think we will continue. I hope it will continue.”

The reception starts at 6:30 p.m. Dales Gallery is located at 537 Fisgard.

More information about the Downtown Story Collective can be found at thedscollective.wordpress.com

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