A 16-year-old Vancouver artist is coming to terms with newfound success after a show she curated and featured in for charity became a huge hit.
In just two days last weekend, the exhibition welcomed more than 500 visitors and raised $4,000 to help fight child poverty in Vancouver.
“I still can’t absorb the amount of love everyone has shown towards the show. It has really been the shortest and longest weekend ever,” Zhang told Vancity Buzz.
“The success has been way above what we perceived and we are tremendously grateful to all of the artists, volunteers and exhibition attendees for their overwhelming support.”
Half of the proceeds will help launch Starts With One’s One to One Extracurricular Services Program, to connect youth instructors with children living in poverty.
The remaining half will be donated to Mom to Mom Child Poverty Initiative Vancouver and Sir William Macdonald Elementary School.
Zhang, a student of Fraser Academy in Vancouver, says she wanted to hold the exhibition to empower youth within the fine arts community.
“There just wasn’t anything like this in our city. An art hosted by youth, for youth? I’ve never heard of that,” she said.
Zhang says that for her, art is a platform for a question – and can transcend anything. And once she’s finished her pieces, they are there for others to enjoy.
“For me it’s a way to let go of things, it’s how I get over people or events in my life,” she said.
“Once I finish a piece I like to think it’s not mine anymore, I’m a different person from when I made it because I’m not emotionally there in myself anymore.”
And what does Zhang hope to do with her newfound success?
“Being happy, doing what I love and improving that thing everyday. That’s pretty much what being successful means to me.”