We are more alike in this world than we are unalike. We are resilient and yet fragile. We all feel joy, and we all feel pain. When a loved one is diagnosed with a disease, whether terminal or treatable, it stops us in our tracks and abruptly puts things in a perspective we had hoped we would never have to experience. All of the trivial things and differences that used to matter, suddenly don’t. It’s easy to feel powerless in that moment, not knowing what you can do or how you could possibly help. What I have learned through my experience, is that sometimes even the smallest gesture can have a big impact.
As an artist, I don’t have practical skills that can save a life, but I do have the ability to create art. Last spring, I made the decision that once a year, I would give back through my artwork by either donating a piece or the proceeds of a piece to charity. It may be a small gesture, but it’s one that contributes to a bigger cause. My mandate is simple. The charity has to be something that means something to me, and the proceeds of donations to that charity would have to in part go to helping those affected and their families.
This year’s piece, “Signs of Spring”, is in support of the Edmonton Brain Tumour Walk. I was approached by a close family friend, whose daughter has been affected by a brain tumour and immediately agreed to do it. It’s the least I can do for a family has been so helpful to ours when we had faced our own crisis. I wanted to create a piece that embodies the sentiment of hope. Since spring is often associated with the idea of renewal or a second chance and birds often represent the idea of freedom, it made sense to me to express the idea in this way. It’s my wish that my piece can bring someone joy, and the money raised from it will help contribute to bringing others hope and that second chance.
The piece will be part of a silent auction, along with a painting that was created by Cass Allred, a brain tumour survivor. The walk itself takes place on Saturday, May 27th in Hawrelak Park in Edmonton, Alberta. All proceeds of the silent auction artwork go towards to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.