ST. PAUL – The St. Paul & District Arts Foundation combined the joy of painting with that of raising funds for the humanitarian relief effort in Ukraine Friday evening at the Rec. Centre in St. Paul.
Leading up to the event, the organization put out a call for one hundred people to create 100 sunflowers with all proceeds going to the Canadian-Ukraine Foundation to support that organization’s efforts in Ukraine. Painters were charged $40 to participate.
Feature artist Melanie Braund of Lac La Biche led a group of over 40 painters through the process of creating the national flower of Ukraine. Each participant painted a 10-inch square painting, their interpretation of a larger painting created by Braund.
“What’s really cool about the artist is the artist has painted this particular picture for this particular event,” spokesperson Valerie Pratch said, adding the event was a “total heart” project for the arts foundation.
“Someone once told us about how they saw the arts foundation in our community working and that the arts foundation was good at identifying social issues and being able to use art as a means to help or to bring awareness,” Pratch explained last Thursday.
Asked about her vision for the evening, Pratch said it was about creating “a lovely gathering of artists that come for a common cause and they leave with a beautiful painting. As many times as we’ve done this type of event, because we have done them as fundraisers for our organization, at the end of the evening is probably the most gratifying when you see all those artists leaving with their paintings – each one is different just like each one of the artists.”
At the end of the evening, she said, not only will the painters have created a work of art, at the same time they have supported an important humanitarian effort.