Through the fire

Inspiration created to tribute our heros

By Dawn Booth, Connect Weekly

A photo rendering of Fort McMurray artist Kelvin Sawatzky’s painting titled: Through the fire. Supplied photo

A photo rendering of Fort McMurray artist Kelvin Sawatzky’s painting titled: Through the fire. Supplied photo

Local artist Kelvin Sawatzky has been painting the beauty of the Wood Buffalo region for almost forty years. He said he expects to continue doing so for the many years to come. He recently painted an oil on canvas piece titled: Through the fire, as a tribute to the firefighters who have been working tirelessly to save the communities of the region.

“Part of (the painting) is my tribute to the firefighters who have been doing so much to save my home and northern wilderness area. Another part is just my gut response to what has been happening in McMurray,” Sawatzky shared.

“A scenario like this fire certainly marks a watershed moment in our appreciation of our naturally beautiful wilderness environment. The impact of this fire is so powerful, all engaging, that you simply can’t help running it over, and over, in your mind,” he said.

Since the evacuation, Sawatzky has been displaced from his studio at the River City Centre and has temporarily relocated to William Zorzos Picture Framing in Edmonton at 7814-73rd Avenue. For the past year and a half, he’s had his work on display at the shop. Today, he continues creating wildfire-inspired masterpieces.

“For me, the natural resolution is to put something on canvas. Our area is… was so rich with natural beauty, and now we’re faced with a devastation that’s so overwhelming. And yet, in the face of this, we’re looking ahead with hope to a renewed future.”

Several Fort McMurray artists and musicians have been expressing through creative their outlets across the Province.

READ MORE FEATURE STORIES ON INSPIRING LOCAL TALENT INSIDE.

–  Article as shown in Connect’s Special Edition – First Issue After the Wildfire – Released May 28, 2016 –