Better together

Photo by Danielle Reardon

Just two months since its official launch, The Pick-Me-Up Artists’ Collective—consisting primarily of recent art school graduates—is boasting thousands of online hits and plenty of interest from the public.

And while their first exhibition took place in a makeshift space, their latest exhibition, “Of a Surface” is being hosted at the A1C Gallery.

“We’re actually very surprised that people were so ready to accept us,” says founding member Hillary Winter. “I don’t think there have been a lot of people in the last five or ten years coming out of school and trying to do this right away. Usually people will go off and work on their Masters or go, or do Education and then get back into art later, but the majority of us are fresh out of school and ready to go.”

Winter says that while so much attention so soon is a pleasant surprise, the group’s objective of self-promotion has been at the forefront since the beginning, just one year ago.

“In the initial stages of development the web site was our main priority,” says Hillary. “It can be accessed by so many different people in so many different age groups and social classes.”

In contrast with the group’s interest in social media and online communication, the theme chosen by the collective for “Of A Surface,” their first themed show, is texture.

“Maybe technology has such a huge impact in our lives that we have to counter that by making work that is very physically grounded,” says Winter. “It is people getting in there and getting messy—which is so different than typing on your computer.”

For Winter, the goal of the Pick-Me-Up group includes a broad definition of media and forms.

“A lot of us—there are 18 members right now—the majority of us graduated from Grenfell, so we all have similar ideas around accepting all different types of art forms. We don’t want to be strictly traditional art. We have collaborated with dancers and we’d love to be working with music and theatre—all of which we’ve talked to other organizations about getting involved in. …Visual art is so often seen as a picture on the wall. Dancing is just as visual as a painting, so is theatre- so are all these different forms.”

Pick-Me-Up continues to pick up members, with new applicants coming forward all the time. Powered by their online presence, the group is not restricted to only accepting new artists living in St. John’s.

Says Winter, “We’re always taking in new people. We want people to fit under our little umbrella of trying to promote ourselves and taking our art seriously.”

‘Of A Surface’ runs at A1C Gallery until December 12th. For membership information and upcoming events, visit The Pick-Me-Up Artists’ Collective online at

One comment

Best Late Night

Celtic Hearth

3 June 2011

  1. Johnny S. Sergent · June 3, 2011

    What a breath of fresh air to see a collective of young talent set up on the local art scene. The Grenfell grads really need some recognition and show space in order to retain them to practice here or else they will leave. Would also like to see the arts council set up a “just graduated” section for available grants. Just an idea. Congrats