Q-and-A: Artwork with coronary heart from Guelph artist helps Ukraine
A local artist’s helping hands are supporting Ukraine as it battles against an invasion by Russia.
Rae Wright said she couldn’t believe what was happening when she first saw the scenes emerge from that part of the world.
“I was shocked,” she says.
So the artist, a Durham Region native who has lived in Guelph for about half a decade, went to work and created a painting in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and featuring hands in the “rescue hold.”
“I wanted to offer some support the way I know how,” Wright says of the art.
The original painting was donated to raise funds at the recent solidarity walk that saw folks walk from Market Square to Fixed Gear Brewing. Sixteen prints were sold over the week that they were available with proceeds supporting Ukraine via the Red Cross. Prints are to be available again with donations geared to UNICEF to help the children of Ukraine. For info visit Wright’s Facebook page.
Q: CAN YOU SHARE HOW THE PAINTING CAME TO BE?
A: The painting I made came about because I wanted to help in some way. I regularly hold fundraisers for local charities (recently completed a fundraiser for the Guelph Humane Society).
I thought of the different ways the world has united in support of those in Ukraine and remembered reading about the “Rescue Hold” when I was a teenager.
I was having a difficult time deciding the medium to use for the painting as I regularly work in a variety of mediums. Ultimately, I decided on watercolors as I’ve recently developed a passion for working in this medium and style.
Q: HOW ARE YOU HANDLING/CONSUMING THE BARRAGE OF TOUGH-TO-TAKE NEWS COMING FROM THAT PART OF THE WORLD?
A: I have been reading a lot of articles and watching the news from CTV/BBC and other outlets. It is difficult to hear what is transpiring there. I wish there was more I could do to help.
Q: ON A LIGHTER NOTE, IT’S A RANDOM SATURDAY NIGHT AND YOU’RE NOT DOING ANYTHING ART-RELATED. WHAT MIGHT YOU BE UP TO?
A: If I wasn’t doing something art-related I would be having a lazy night in with my family (my husband, son, and our soon-to-be new family member as I’m due with our second any day now ).
I’m a huge fan of reading sci-fi and fantasy novels and watching sports (very big Blue Jays fan).
Q: WHAT’S A CURRENT PET PEEVE OF YOURS?
A: Currently my biggest pet peeve is being late and it’s gotten to the point that I try to be somewhere 20 minutes early so I can avoid it.
Q: STRANDED. DESERT ISLAND, AS THEY SAY. NONE OF THIS iPHONE OR iPOD STUFF. WHICH THREE ALBUMS WOULD YOU BRING?
A: Our Lady Peace, Clumsy; 21 Pilots, Regional at Best; and Goo Goo Dolls, Let Love In.
Q: BEING AN ARTIST PROBABLY HAS UPS AND DOWNS. CAN YOU SHARE A QUICK STORY ABOUT ONE OR THE OTHER?
A: When COVID hit and everything was shut down it also shut down a huge part of my business because I was teaching classes in restaurants and schools and because of the lockdowns everything was cancelled. I was supposed to start my classes up again after taking a six-week maternity leave after my son was born. I taught one school session because the closures came.
I switched to virtual learning with my art classes but then in May 2021 due to my son’s schedule and learning that we were expecting again I couldn’t continue teaching so I started focusing on my custom portraits instead as this is easier to do with the family schedule. It’s a challenge, but at the same time, it’s wonderful when my son comes into the art room after nap time and sits on my lap to look at the pieces I worked on while he was sleeping.