A&E » Arts

Trees stand tall in Fairmont art fundraiser

Paintings auction supports Trees of Hope campaign for Canuck Place Children's Hospice



Whistler artist Andrea Moore chose a favourite spot when asked to contribute a painting to the Trees of Hope fundraiser at the Chateau Fairmont Whistler.

It was a spot in the forest where she would take her now-dead dog twice a day.

"It's a place of silent knowing and beauty for me," she says.

Moore's painting, "Silent Shoulders," depicts conifers beneath a thick bundle of snow.

"In the painting there is a little tree in the background with more light on it, surrounded by bigger, heavier trees. They have this experience and this smaller one is coming up behind them," she adds.

"Silent Shoulders" is one of 12 paintings being auctioned as part of the fundraiser.

An artist for six years, this is the first event of its kind that Moore has taken part in, she says. She is normally known as a painter of dogs.

"We were supposed to paint our version of a Tree of Hope and for me the forest is really a special place. I'm really excited about it," Moore says.

"This is just such a great event to be a part of. Working with all the artists and having the freedom, too, to paint our own versions of this idea, which could be anything."

Four regional artists, Kris Kupsky, Leilani Finch, Levi Nelson, and Caroline Scagel, are participating alongside six artists represented by co-sponsor Mountain Galleries — including Moore, plus Doria Moodie, Sharon Smith, Linda Wilder, Gail Johnson and Charlie Easton.

The paintings would raise over $20,000 if sold at their "buy now" prices. Each piece is 24" x 36" and framed by the gallery.

"Silent Shoulders" can be purchased outright for $2,390. It and the other paintings up for auction can be seen and bid on at www.32auctions.com/WhistlerTreesofHope.

The auction is part of a corporate-wide fundraiser for the Fairmont group, says Michelle Leroux, the hotel's director of public relations, but Whistler is the only location to take on the theme of Trees of Hope as a project for artists.

"We thought, 'What can we do to make this more Whistler, more engaging for guests and more intriguing for sponsors?' Because we have such a big focus in the community for arts and culture, I thought we should engage artists," Leroux says.

This is the second year of what is now an annual fundraising event — with proceeds going to Vancouver's Canuck Place Children's Hospice.

"Canuck Place supports our community, the whole Sea to Sky region," Leroux says.

As well as helping the hospice, creating art in the Tree of Hope theme became a great way to promote artists in the region, she adds.

Leroux says they hope to raise $15,000. As well, 12 local businesses have also contributed at least $200 each, already raising $1,850.

And the Fairmont is offering a Tree of Hope holiday package, which will donate $10 per night booked to the hospice.