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Visual Arts

Clay Roots • A Fundraising Exhibition

Visual Arts Centre’s 75th Anniversary

Exhibition: September 2 to 15, 2021
Online Auction:  Opens September 9, 2021
Tickets: $35

Online Exhibition: August 16 to September 15, 2021


Clay Roots is a unique and exciting fundraising event to be held in-person and online, celebrating the Visual Art Centre’s 75th anniversary. Founded in 1946, the Visual Arts Centre began as the Potters’ Club, a women-run, ceramic-focused art collective. 75 years later, the Visual Arts Centre is now the largest bilingual independent art school in Canada, with a renowned contemporary art gallery (the McClure Gallery) and a dynamic outreach education program for youth and adults in difficult social or economic situations. Clay Roots will celebrate this history through an exhibition of artists who are part of our creative community. There will be hundreds of artworks celebrating the Centre’s history, many of which will be inspired by the Clay Roots theme. All of the works will be available for auction online. Additionally, the Centre will launch the Clay Roots book, written by Victoria LeBlanc, which provides a rich visual and written exploration of this Centre’s history.

The online and in-person exhibition will run from September 2 until September 15, 2021. On the evening of September 9th, following the launch of the Clay Roots book, the online auction will open. The online and in-person events will bring together artists, friends, and eager buyers to admire and purchase art and celebrate and support this 75-year old artistic hub. As a not-for-profit charitable organization, the Visual Arts Centre relies on fundraising to be able to continue to offer high quality art education programming. We are proud of our rich 75-year history and, with the support of our community, we are looking forward to continuing to nurture creative practices for the next 75 years!

Why Support the Visual Arts Centre?

As a not-for-profit charitable organization, with only 5% of our budget coming from government sources, the Visual Arts Centre relies on fundraising to be able to continue to offer high quality art educational programming. Ticket-holders will have first choice to invest in artwork.

Buy a Ticket for the Online Auction:



To participate in the online auction, you will need to purchase a $35 ticket through Bid Beacon.


Find the Bid Beacon in app stores, or open  in your browser and click on “Register with this auction!” After that, log into Bid Beacon with a Facebook account, Google account or email address. Click on “view tickets” and finally, click on “Purchase Tickets”.The ticket functions as a donation to the Visual Arts Centre.

For each $35 ticket you purchase, you will receive a tax receipt for the full amount (Charitable Registration Number: 106896244RR0001).

Buy an Artwork:

SEE THE ARTWORKS: August 16th to September 15th
Visit the Auction Exhibition online here from August 16th! or in person at the McClure Galleryfrom September 2nd to September 15th!
  • There will be over 150 incredible artworks available for sale during the Clay Roots Exhibition, September 2nd to 15th.
  • The auction will open on the evening of September 9th & go until September 15th. Bids can be made through the BID BEACON app here!
  • Depending on what the donating artist chooses, 50%75%, or 100% of the funds from the sale will go to the VAC.
  • The remaining amount will go to the artist.
  • Artwork purchases do not receive tax receipts.



  • The Clay Roots Book will be available for sale in the McClure Gallery.
  • Online interview with author Victoria LeBlanc on September 9th at 6pm at the Gallery McClure’s Facebook Page.


Additionally, starting September 2nd, the first 75 people who donate $75 or more to the VAC will have their names added to our new beautiful ceramic leaf installation in the Victoria Ave. entrance stairwell. Donate Now

Ephemeral icing sugar mural installed on Visual Arts Centre building in September! 

Mural Installation
September 3 (or, if rain,
on September 4)
Throughout the day

Pop-up Workshops
September 5 & 6
From 12 pm to 3 pm

As part of the Visual Arts Centre’s 75th anniversary events, Montreal artist Shelley Miller will create a commemorative participatory mural made entirely of icing sugar on the exterior wall of the VAC. Drawing on her extensive experience creating sugar-based contemporary art, Shelley Miller will use piped icing, sugar tiles, and a sugar-based cartouche to enliven the street and celebrate this historic building and organization.

Shelley Miller will also facilitate two pop-up workshops, where participants will learn how to pipe decorative elements, which will be integrated into the mural, connecting with the Centre’s long history of engaging diverse audiences in hands-on creative activity.

Shelley Miller’s mural project is part of the Art Out in the Open program of the Conseil des arts de Montréal.


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