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From Ashes to Art

By October 18, 2012Creativity, Miscellany

This summer, we watched as the High Park fire burned 87,284 acres and destroyed 259 homes outside of the Fort Collins area, leaving ashes and blackened trees in its wake. The total cost to fight the fire was $39.2 million, and many of our fire departments were financially devastated from fighting the blaze.

After the fire, I was inspired to see how our community reached out to those affected by the fires. Volunteers planted trees in scorched areas to help the restoration process, homeowners and renters propped up thank you signs for the firefighters in their front yards, and businesses placed donation boxes on their counters. Observing all these acts of kindness, I, as an artist, wondered how I could use my creative skills to help.

That’s When Something Awesome Happened

Lori Joseph and Tim O’Hara invited me to participate in the Ashes to Art Project, an online art auction to raise money for the Poudre Canyon Volunteer Fire Protection District.

Lori and Tim contacted artists across the nation, asking us to donate our time and skills to create art pieces for the auction.

The only rule: you must incorporate charcoal from the fire into your artwork.

The response for The Ashes to Art Project was nationwide, with 70 artists submitting their work for the auction. 9news’ interview with Laurie helped to kick off the event.

CTV News also interviewed Tim and Lori about the fundraiser, and showcased some of the art that folks can bid on.

Get Cool Art, Support a Good Cause

I’m proud to be part of this amazing effort. The auction ends October 21st (which means there’s still time left to place a bid), and includes a wide variety of mediums such as paintings, drawings, pottery, and even a necklace which incorporates the charcoal from the fire. Check out some of the pieces below, and go to the web site to see the entire collection.

Earth Energy, by Penny Benjamin Peterson

Earth Energy, by Penny Benjamin Peterson

Newman’s Pride, By Rich Mills

Newman’s Pride, By Rich Mills

Smoke on the Mountain, by Eric Newman

Smoke on the Mountain, by Eric Newman

Aspen Grove, by Natalie Touchberry

Aspen Grove, by Natalie Touchberry

Additional Ways to Support Our Firefighters

Tim & Lori will photograph the art and compile it into a book for the public to purchase. All proceeds from these sales will go towards the Poudre Canyon volunteer Fire Fighters. Check the Ashes to Art Facebook page for updates about the book and where it can be purchased.

For those who want to donate cash, there’s a page on the auction website to do so. Every dollar you donate will go towards the Poudre Canyon Volunteer Fire Fighters.

You can also go to the Poudre Canyon Fire Protection District’s donations page for other opportunities to provide support or donate.