Nanaimo artist Andrea Thomas is auctioning a series of COVID-19-inspired paintings with all proceeds benefitting the Nanaimo Community Response Fund. (Photo courtesy Andrea Thomas)

Nanaimo artist auctions COVID-19-inspired art for pandemic relief charity

Andrea Thomas’s paintings will benefit Nanaimo Community Response Fund

Last month Andrea Thomas spent two weeks in self-imposed quarantine after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and the Nanaimo artist is now auctioning off the paintings made during that time to help others affected by the virus.

Thomas said painting has “always been a form of therapy for me,” and once she started feeling better she painted an anatomically correct heart inspired by the hearts people have been displaying in their windows thanking health-care workers. But she didn’t stop there.

“I did the lungs second and thought, ‘Oh, I can do a whole series of COVID-themed paintings,” Thomas said. “And every single day I just busted out a new canvas and started getting my creative juices flowing.”

Thomas made nine more paintings in her series, including that of a coughing mouth, two figures standing six feet apart, a health-care worker, a swing set behind caution tape and a gun shooting a COVID-19 particle.

Thomas then shared the paintings on Get Down with the Lockdown, a global Facebook group with nearly 50,000 members sharing art and music, and she said the reaction to her work was “overwhelming.”

“I posted and then it was maybe three hours later I opened up my Facebook page and I had all these notifications and at that point … I think there was like 500 likes on it and I was like, ‘Holy crap,’” she said.

Thomas said she had 1,000 likes by the end of the day, more than 75 comments on her posts and she started receiving private messages from people across Canada asking if her paintings were for sale. But she wasn’t interested in making a profit.

“I’m one of the fortunate people that gets to work from home during this time so I haven’t been affected financially. I don’t need the money. I don’t necessarily want to sell the paintings,” she said.

Thomas said she normally just gives her work away when people show an interest, but in this case she saw the potential to do some good. She reached out to the Nanaimo Foundation and the Tom Harris Community Foundation and offered to auction off her paintings with all proceeds supporting the Nanaimo Community Response Fund, a joint effort of the two groups that aims to provide relief for those who are struggling due to COVID-19.

“As I kept producing I was adding photos of the paintings to the [Facebook] page and got a really positive response from it,” Thomas said. “So I thought, ‘I wonder if I could do something bigger with this and actually help?’”

The paintings can be viewed and bid upon here. Bidding starts at $200 and is open until May 15.

This feel-good story is part of the #WereInThisTogether campaign by Black Press Media. Have an uplifting story that you think would bring joy to readers? Email your story, photos and videos to wereinthistogether@blackpress.ca.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#wereinthistogetherArtCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Greater Victoria writer releases first novel inspired by U.S. school shootings

Dear Mr. President tells thought provoking story of victims left behind

VIDEO: Trudeau, Atwood say ‘happy birthday’ for Robert Bateman’s 90th

Famed Canadian artist and conservationist celebrated milestone this weekend

Vancouver Island man scores viral hit with stop-motion tribute to ‘Schitt’s Creek’

Todd Cameron used vintage Fisher Price toys to create one-minute music video

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach man stages concerts for charity out of his garage

Larry MacDougall says reception from neighbours has been heartening

Music education remains important, especially during pandemic

‘Music really does lift people up in times of trial,’ says Island music teacher

Parksville’s McMillan Arts Centre set to reopen on June 18

Local artists will have work on display; COVID-19 protocols observed

Colwood art centre shuts its doors indefinitely

Board members look for new location when feasible, continue online

Nanaimo drag queen organizes benefit show for hospitals and performers

Suga Honey Iced Tea to feature nine drag artists from Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver

Chris Lowther becomes Tofino’s second Poet Laureate

“It’s very encouraging and it’s motivating and that’s the greatest gift any writer can receive.”

Langford bartender hosts singalong livestream for seniors

Live Senior Singalong takes place daily at 1 p.m. on Facebook

Victoria dealer sells Batmobile replica at Arizona auction

Tim Quocksister sells Batmobile replica for $165,000 US at auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Most Read