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Art collection a boon for WAC

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There will come a time when you may find art created by Vernon L. Watson wrapped around the neck of a few Dauphinites or dropped in the mailbox in the form of an art card.
Local artist Jan Jenkins, who is also a volunteer with the Dauphin and District Allied Arts Council (DDAAC) is working to make that happen on the site, Art of Where (AOW).
Jenkins is an accomplished artist and over the last couple of years she had been searching for a Canadian company that does print on demand.
“And the Watson Art Centre has been very fortunate to have been donated original artworks, along with copyrights, by a number of families who donated artwork after the artist has passed away,” she said, noting the families represent Watson, Dennis Werbicki and Gladys Bloomquist.
According to AOW, it is a tool for artists to translate artwork onto handmade, quality items.
It prints artwork onto products that are made from its studio in Montreal and the product range includes pillow cases, leggings, pencil cases, device cases, and tank tops, with new products being dreamt up all the time.
About a year ago, Jenkins decided it was time to teach herself how to scan and upload her art designs, as part of a project she was working on.
“And then I thought, if I could do this for my self, I could do this for the Watson Art Centre private art collection,” she said, noting it would be a good revenue opportunity, over time, for the DDAAC.
The key to starting the process, Jenkins said, was to ensure DDAAC had the reproduction rights to artwork in the collection.
“Having the reproduction rights allows us to scan the artwork images and digitally create product for online purchase,” she explained.
As a volunteer, Jenkins is spearheading the project for DDAAC, as well as for her own art business.
For every sale of an AOW item on the WAC page, she said, DDAAC receives a percentage commission.
“Which can help fund other programs, events and building upgrades,” Jenkins added.
There is a significant number of artworks in the WAC’s private collection and over time, Jenkins hopes to scan a number of the images into the site and create product for WAC’s online shop.
By opening a store on AOW, the website states, artists can reach their fan base in new ways and can expand their customer reach by selling online worldwide.
Currently Jenkins has some art cards and phone cases in the WAC online shop.
“And I want to expand that into notebooks and scarves and clothing and archival quality art prints, as well,”she said.
The project is just beginning and Jenkins anticipates she will have more items for sale in the fall, just in time for Christmas shopping.
To find AOW, Jenkins recommends visiting the WAC website at watsonartcentre.com and looking for the product store tab, which has a direct link to the WAC’s store.
“As we create new product, we’ll be showing examples of what is available,” she said, adding photos will be posted on the WAC website.
WAC’s online shop will also have a few items from artwork created at community events hosted by DDAAC, such as Yard Fringe.
Additionally, Jenkins plans to have some samples of items available on AOW, in the Made in the Parkland cabinet at WAC.
She pointed out the cost of shipping would be added to the cost of the item at WAC.
Jenkins is pleased to offer this potential revenue stream for DDAAC, as it does not cost the council an initial investment and offers opportunity for supporters of the WAC to shop on line and purchase items that are from the community.
For more information, shoppers may visit watsonartcentre.com.

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M. A. Nyquist
REPORTER
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