The Blossom Project

Since returning from the writing sojourn in America, I find myself fallen headlong into the world of visual art. The Blossom Project is all about giving away paintings, and I have partnered up with the artist Marlene Yuzak (to whom I am also married). We got the idea while riding a bus one morning to New York. The idea just took flight, and now seems to be taking us for a ride.

The Blossom Project formally begins the night of August 5, 2011. The paintings will be shown for one night only at the AKA Gallery in Saskatoon. If you happen to be in town, please join us. (Links will be posted soon.)

Anyway, the one-night exhibition is really just the beginning of an experiment which asks the question: “If you give away some art, will it make the world a little better?” After hanging briefly on the gallery walls, Marlene’s 20 paintings will come down and get packaged in mailing tubes and be sent off as gifts to people around the world. For the most part the recipients will be people who don’t know us. They will open their package to find a large, original watercolour painting, mostly semi-abstract whorls of bright colour, or hearts strung together by ink lines — and they will be surprised and delighted.

It is my job to make sure they are not also freaked out or confused. My task is to write accompanying letters to each recipient explaining why they have been singled out to receive this unexpected gift from an artist in far-off Canada.

The Blossom Project is about bringing out the best in people using the gift of art. By giving away art, we want to acknowledge people who are doing good work around the world. We also want to encourage people who could be in a position to great things if they chose. (Note the duality there!)

What kind of good work? For a guide, we are using the Millennium Development Goals, a set of global targets developed by United Nations and agreed to by all 192 member countries in that organization. If ever there was a blueprint for a better world, the Millennium Development Goals package is IT.

The Blossom Project has its own website, and you can get the complete story there. Most importantly you can also suggest names for our Recipient List. We really need help finding likely candidates, especially in Africa, Asia and South America.


  1. Trust you two to come up with such an amazing idea. I for one recall the day, only 3 short years ago, after the passing of Olive, when I became heir to a Marlene Yuzak original. It still hangs over the stairwell to my basement, and many people have commented on it. I am thrilled to tell them the story about how I became the proud owner of a beautiful painting by my longtime friend. Others will be so lucky! Keep up the great work you two.

  2. Hey Arlene, thanks for the post. If you or anyone you know has plans to visit Kandahar, Afghanistan, we are looking for someone to drop off a painting. Mostly we’ve mailed everything off, but there are a few locations where we don’t trust the normal channels. Hope you are well.


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