A pop-up fundraiser will be selling donated art — by the square foot – all summer long in Haliburton.

For the annual Art Squared event, Haliburton County artists have donated 12-inch by 12-inch paintings. Each one costs $100 with all the money going to local arts organizations.

The fundraiser will run as a pop-up booth outside the Rails End Gallery at most Haliburton farmers markets. This year, each sale will funnel money to the Rails End Gallery.

Dagmar Boettcher, an Art Squared board member, said local artists have been eager to support the fundraiser.

“People have been really great about donating,” Boettcher said. “Big shout out to all the artists in our town that have given us a 12-inch by 12-inch painting that they could have sold for $350.”

On large wooden racks, the Art Squared paintings tackle diverse themes: vibrant chickens, inquisitive turtles, rustic homesteads and tranquil river scenes.

Art Squared board member and artist Deborah Reed said she enjoys donating art to the event because of how the arts community in Haliburton has impacted her life. Each summer, she took art classes at the Haliburton School of Art and Design. Now, along with her partner Boettcher, she lives in the area full-time.

“I’m fairly new to Haliburton, and I’m grateful to it. It’s such a strong and welcoming community,” she said.

Art Squared sprouted to life after board members met while taking art classes from Carole Finn, an artist and printmaker formerly based in Minden.

One of the people taking lessons came up with the bite-sized painting fundraiser, and after a meeting, Art Squared took off.

The first year it ran, the group raised $3,500 for an HSAD student bursary in painting and drawing; the second year also raised $3,500 for the Rails End Gallery.

Since then, they’ve developed relationships with local long-term care homes, and paintings which don’t sell are donated to add colour and vibrancy to their walls.

For Boettcher, Art Squared is a celebration of arts, community, and the importance of creativity.

“I think without art and music and all the cultural things a lot of people don’t think we should be spending money on, our lives are so less rich,” she said.

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