Fort St. James artists support Ukrainians with art fundraiser – Smithers Interior News
Fort St. James artists gather to raise funds for Ukrainians amid Russia’s continued invasion of the Eastern European nation.
Retired rancher and artist from Fort St. James, Pat Gauthier said she has always enjoyed painting sunflowers. The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine and has become a symbol of solidarity.
“Ukraine is the breadbasket of Europe. They grow the most sunflowers and produce the most sunflower oil,” Gauthier said.
“I’m not of Ukrainian descent, but it really spoke to me about helping.”
She started small with a painted bookmark of a sunflower in support of Ukraine and the idea grew from there.
Gauthier got together with others in the area to sell their work as a group and donate the proceeds to the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
Her own artwork had already raised $500 on Monday, March 17, and more orders had already been placed.
“I can’t put it up there fast enough. People really, really want to help. Most of what I’ve done is already gone. It became a series and I’ve done 15 pieces now.
Another local artist who has become involved is Corrie Wilkinson. She made a pair of moccasins in blue and yellow.
Gauthier said there are now artists across Canada helping “in their own way” by painting sunflowers and donating proceeds or displaying artwork depicting sunflowers and the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag.
As interest continues to grow, Fort St. James artist Shara Walsh has a Facebook page called Art for Ukraine where people can join the cause and be connected with buyers. It is open to artists and anyone who owns artwork they would like to sell to raise money for Ukrainians.
To be part of it, you just have to post your work on the Art For Ukraine event Facebook page, including in the description, the price, how to contact you to buy and that 100% of the profits will go to support Ukraine .
Gauthier said it’s a great way to make a tangible contribution at a time when many Canadians are feeling anxious about war and looking for ways to help.
“We got interest from Vanderhoof who wondered how they could publish their work there. I even had one from Prince George who would like to publish his work there as well,” Gauthier said. “Now we’ve opened it across Canada.
Fundraising will continue until March 23, when funds will be released.