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 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

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Braden Holtby’s new mask designed in collaboration with Luke Marston and David Gunnarsson. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Vancouver Island Coast Salish artist unveils new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Alan Tudyk stars as Alien Harry Vanderspeigel in the new series Resident Alien (Photo by: James Dittinger/SYFY)
Resident Alien brings Vancouver Island to the small screen with January premiere

Quirky series shot in Ladysmith will air every Wednesday on the CTV Sci-Fi Channel

Comox-based cinematographer Maxwel Hohn’s new documentary captures the lives of Vancouver Island’s coastal wolves. Photo courtesy Maxwel Hohn.
New mini-documentary shot on Vancouver Island echoes the ‘call of the coastal wolves’

Photography heavyweights from B.C. come together for Maxwel Hohn’s second wildlife documentary

The 2021 Victoria Film Festival includes Vancouver Island produced feature film All-in Madonna. The festival looks a bit different this year, but film-lovers can still expect a full and diverse lineup. (Courtesy of VFF)
Victoria Film Festival returns with virtual viewing

Lineup features 50 films including Vancouver Island-produced All-in Madonna

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

<em>Chinook Salmon: Breaking Through</em> by B.C.’s Mark Hobson was selected among 13 entries as the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Stamp Competition.
Stained-glass lighting casts a win to B.C. salmon artist

Painting of chinook is Mark Hobson’s third win in annual contest

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”. The natural photo art for the album includes Vancouver Island mountains, rivers and beaches. Scenes from the Cowichan River, Witchcraft Lake, Pipers Lagoon, Wall Beach and other popular Island recreation destinations accentuate the album. (RICHIErichieRichie Music Publishing photo)
Serenity Now! Richie Valley debuts third LP dubbed Apollonian

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”

Victoria artist Noah Layne is conducting online workshops on portrait drawing as part of the Metchosin ArtPod’s About Face portrait show. (Photo courtesy of Noah Layne)
Metchosin Art Pod doing an about-face

Renowned artist Noah Layne hosting online classes in portrait drawing

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Victoria writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

The pantomime ‘Snow White and the 5 Dwarfs’ has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Submitted)
Pantomime cancelled in Cowichan due to COVID restrictions

A partnership of the Cowichan Musical Society, the Shawnigan Players, and the Mercury Players.

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Work on Hornby Island Arts Centre to start this month

Community worked with award-winning architectural firm on design

Western Edge Theatre artistic director Brian March and local theatre artists Brianna Hamilton and Daniel Puglas (from left) make up Western Edge’s new team of “artistic associates.” (News Bulletin file photos/Courtney Harder)
Nanaimo theatre company adds younger, diverse voices to artistic team

Western Edge hopes new ‘artistic associates’ will help form new ideas, reach new audiences

Most Read