A painting worth $12,000 from artist Wanda Koop is the prize in an Art City raffle to help fund free art programs in Winnipeg. The organization is hoping to raise $20,000 from the sale.

Koop has been called one of Canada's most celebrated contemporary artists. She won a 2016 Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts and has had her work shown all over the world. 

An original piece by Koop is "very expensive and highly valued," said Joshua Ruth, managing director at Art City. "And rightly so — Wanda's one of Canada's premiere visual artists."

Koop donated her 2013 painting High River ahead of the organization's annual fundraiser on April 30, called the Golden Age of the Winnipeg Social.

Ruth described the painting as a conceptual landscape with a person standing on what looks like a frozen lake surrounded by trees. 

"[It's] very much in Wanda's signature style — minimal brush strokes, vibrant colour, very sort of ethereal and dreamy. It's almost like a dreamscape," he said. "She has a very sophisticated colour understanding."

Koop emerged as a painter in the 1970s, a time when some people believed painting was dead, Ruth said. 

"She really challenged that and made huge strides for the medium. To work at such a large scale was unheard of, especially by a woman at the time," he said.

Koop founded Art City almost 18 years ago and is still actively involved with the organization. The funds raised from the raffle will go toward the organization's drop-in art program for people of all ages. 

"Art City is one of her crowning achievements. I know it's something that she's personally very, very proud of," he said.

Art City is selling 500 raffle tickets at its fundraiser and at its 616 Broadway location during office hours for $40 each until April 30. The winner will be drawn on May 2. 


  • Wanda Koop's painting is valued at $12,000, an earlier version of this story said it was worth $20,000. Arts City will raise $20,000 if it sells all their raffle tickets.
    Mar 23, 2016 3:04 PM CT