An unlikely collaboration will see art raising money for expansion of the local maternity ward.
Throughout history, mother and child were often depicted in paintings and sculptures. From Egyptian frescoes to contemporary works by Canadian artists, children and mothers have been celebrated, said Jane Lemke, curator of the Langley Centennial Museum.
With that in mind, the museum is joining forces with the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation to bring an art exhibition focused entirely on motherhood.
While the art exhibition - called The Art of Motherhood - and a fund-raising garden party are both still a few months away, Lemke is currently putting out a call for artists willing to help make this collaboration a success.
The first step, she said, is to garner interest and participation.
"The two organizations are asking artists to submit works for inclusion in an exhibit and auction," she said.
Artists ages 15 and older are invited to submit works for adjudication, presentation, and sale. Participants are expected to commit a minimum 50-per-cent donation of the proceeds of the final bid amount that their works sell for at auction.
Applications are available for downloading at langleymuseum.org or at www. lmhfoundation.com, with deadline for entries set on April 12.
It's an opportunity for local artists to participate in history and raise funds for the Vandekerkhove Family Maternity Centre expansion, she elaborated.
"A display featuring motherhood-inspired art is the perfect opportunity to showcase Langley's longstanding medical history while raising funds for the ongoing campaign to expand the maternity centre," Lemke said of the joint project.
The hospital, which was built 65 years ago, has natal facilities that have not kept pace with the birthrate.
"Langley Memorial Hospital has one of busiest maternity units in the region," she said.
"The number of births at Langley Memorial Hospital has increased from 85 per year in 1948 (when LMH opened) to 1,800 per year in 2010. But the number of beds for these babies to be born in has only increased by two - from 11 to 13."
And the demand isn't going to disappear, Lemke said, citing "staggering statistics" that project births at LMH will increase to more than 2,300 by 2020.
Under the theme "It All Starts Here," the foundation has undertaken a capital campaign to raise $5.35 million, for a "long-overdue expansion" to the maternity unit and clinic.
That money - of which more than $2.6 million has already been raised - must come from private partners and members of the community, if the hospital hopes to continue to give the newest members of the community the best possible start in life, Lemke said.
The idea for The Art of Motherhood exhibition initially surfaced in conjunction with the museum's upcoming exhibition From Bedpans to Bandages: the History of Medicine in Langley.
Both exhibitions hope to raise awareness of Langley's pioneering medical history, as well as the new needs of the growing municipality, Lemke said.
The Art of Motherhood exhibit will be held from May 9 to July 4, with an opening reception at a Mother's Day tea on Sunday, May 12. The auction will take place at a garden party at the museum on July 18, after the exhibition closes, but during From Bedpans to Bandages.