Jill Hoy painting in a garden. Courtesy of Artascope Studios

Artascope Studios, a volunteer-operated arts nonprofit in Yarmouth, celebrates its 20th birthday and its rebirth with a virtual garden party, with live painters from 4-7 p.m. Sunday, changed from Saturday because of the weather forecast. The virtual garden party is the pandemic equivalent of a plein-air painting auction, and for this event, artists will paint in their gardens while people watch them live on Zoom.

The paintings sold at auction will benefit Artascope, which recently became a nonprofit organization and is in the process of building its board and community backing.

Sunday’s live event is part of the larger Bloom Together Online Auction featuring the work of local artists, including paintings, jewelry, glass work and other items. The auction began earlier this month and is open through Sept. 6. “The auction is very much in the spirit of the community – let’s get together and show each other’s work, let’s appreciate each other’s work and let’s support each other by buying art by our local artists,” said artist and Artascope volunteer Alex Rheault.

People who participate in the garden party on Sunday will watch artists as they work throughout the afternoon. The finished paintings will be auctioned as part of Bloom Together. “Each artist will be working in their own garden, and they will have a camera on them all afternoon so people can watch their progress,” said Rheault, who will emcee.

Other artists who will participate in the live event include Jill Hoy, Catherine Bickford, Alice Mellin, Vavara Harmon, Liz Prescott, Marilyn Bickford and Coralie Curran.

Catherine Bickford at work plein air. Courtesy of Artascope Studios

The auction and the live-painting event are free to view and accessible through the studio’s website and social media. To participate in the live event on Sunday, people must register through Eventbrite. Five tickets will be available for $50 each that will allow the ticket holder to attend one live painting session in the artist’s private garden. They are encouraged to bring a lunch and lawn chair, Rheault said.

Catherine Bickford founded Artascope 20 years ago as a place for the community to come together to create and share art. As part of its move to a nonprofit, the studio is restructuring while also adapting to the pandemic with online classes, virtual memberships and events that bring people together online, Rheault said.

“This COVID period is galvanizing, a time to reevaluate, revitalize, come together, join forces and use art to build the community we want now and want to see going forward,” she said.

This story was updated at 11:50 a.m. Aug. 26 to reflect that the date of the event has been changed to Sunday because of the weather forecast.

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