THUNDER BAY – LIVING – EcoSuperior has five winners to announce from last weekend’s 7th annual Painted Rain Barrel Event, but the big winner is our community, as the event raised over $5,000 to support environmental programs in Thunder Bay. The event was sponsored by Landale Gardens, and featured 29 amazing works of art displayed over three days at Intercity Shopping Centre.
The top selling barrel was returning artist Irene Czank Tait’s “Beauty of the North,” featuring a moose silhouetted against a vivid Northern Lights sky purchased for $375. Czank Tait is awarded fifty percent of that bid, but chose to donate it back to EcoSuperior. This is her third time participating in the event as an artist.
The Children’s Choice winner was selected by youngsters visiting the display over the weekend who gave the most votes to Angela Benedict’s design “In the Marsh,” painted in a unique historical First Nations beadwork style. Tracy Barry portrayed “Colours of Nature” in vivid hues to pick up the Best Individual Effort award. Kristen Wall painted “Things that Grow on the Circle Route” including a colourful Lake Superior to win the “Best Environmental Theme” award. Each artist was awarded a $100 cash prize.
The group category saw many new participants this year, including Justice Ronald Lester Youth Centre, Thunder Bay Correctional Centre and Armstrong Public School, which was awarded the Best Group Effort. Their barrel, painted by Grade 7 and 8 students, was a dramatic scene titled “The Earth Has Music for Those Who Listen.”
Local companies supporting the event this year include Artistic Landscaping, Dougall Media, Bill Martins Nurseryland and Northern Credit Union, whose sponsorship provided cash prizes for the participating artists. In addition, Auto Home Paints provided the primer for the barrels, Confederation College donated time in their aviation spray booth, and Eat Local Pizza donated gift certificates for participating artists.
“This event has become a great spring tradition, with people coming year after year in hopes of having a winning bid for one of these beautiful works of art,” says EcoSuperior’s executive director Ellen Mortfield. “And of course, we couldn’t do it without the tremendous support of all the artists, who put many hours of work into these barrels.”
Artists interested in participating in next year’s event should contact EcoSuperior at 624-2140. Homeowners looking for an unpainted rain barrel can purchase them at EcoSuperior’s office on Red River at Hill Street for $75 as soon as the spring shipment arrives later this month.