Spirit Bears in the City Public Art Project

A charitable initiative to raise money for disabled kids.

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Wow!! Just the response we were looking for!!  The Great Spirit Bear Auction & Gala took place at The Westin Bayshore Resort & Marina Tues. October 10th. and our Spirit Bear ‘captured’ a pretty grand price!

Approximately 30 ‘Spirit Bears’ from the Greater Vancouver and Whistler areas were auctioned live with the proceeds raised from the to benefit the BC Lions Society’s Easter Seal Services and the Canucks For Kids Fund.

Our "WPGA School Spirit Bear" based on the collective artworks of over 500 kids from West Point Grey Academy as well as the bears of other British Columbia artists raised over $570,000 at the auction! (Click on ‘the bears’ link and scroll down to see the bears.)

Our bear was made possible by the generous sponsorship of 4Moms for Kids. A group of four moms from West Point Grey Academy (WPGA) in Vancouver B.C.

One of the ‘4 Moms’ had purchased my ‘Young and Free’ Orca whale, created for the Orcas in the City Project done by the Lions Society a couple of years back.

She loves the art of small children and the Look What I Drawed style of the Orca so she really wanted to involve the children of WPGA in a similar project.

When the Spirit Bears in the City Project came up, she gathered together her sister and two other moms from the school and sponsored our bear… and the rest is history!

The Spirit Bears in the City project was a fantastic experience for me that went beyond just making great art.

Thanks to the BC Lions Society both the Orcas in the City Project and the Spirit Bears in the City Project were a huge success. They were so organized and friendly to work with and are really doing wonderful things for the children who receive their services.

Our sponsors the ‘4 Moms’ were fantastic to work with as well as the children from West Point Grey Academy.

This project has so many winners:

The children and families who need the support from the BC Lions Society, The Canucks for Kids Foundation and the Easter Seals.

The artists who can share their love and talent with the community.

The sponsors who can feel good about their contributions to a worthy cause.

The children of West Point Grey Academy who had a fantastic opportunity to showcase their talents to the world and show that kids art is truly beautiful.

The Spirit Bear who with the the help of Simon Jackson and his Spirit Bear Youth Coalition gets more public attention to his fight against extinction.

The kids from Sullivan Elementary who viewed our Spirit Bear in his ‘creation process’, and whose wonderful insights into the art were truly inspiring.

And the general public as well as the people who come to visit our great city, get to enjoy the beauty and diversity of all the artwork presented.

 

Thank you so much everyone for an exciting experience that will last me and my family a lifetime.

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It was all so exciting!

Last week my two children (Willow and Fisher) and two students from West Point Grey Academy  (Kate and Mathew) were interviewed by Kush of Kids CBC in front of our KidArt Spirit Bear named "WPGA School Spirit".

Kids CBC is a hugely popular kids show viewed every weekday morning across Canada by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC.

The kids were filmed at the location of the bear in Vancouver, B.C. on Tenth Ave and Sasamat in the West Point Grey area.

Kush, the Westcoast Host of Kids CBC, interviewed the kids as a ‘Roving reporter on the scene of the exciting sightings of spirit bears all over the Vancouver area!".

The kids loved the ‘overly dramatic’ Kush in her very loud pink jacket as they explained to her that the bear was actually a friendly bear and that they were some of the children that created the original artwork for the bear.

It was a very special opportunity for the kids to be involved in such a fun project. They were all very excited about the chance to be able to be on television. It was an experience I’m sure they will not soon forget!

The segment will be aired several times in the fall of 2006 with the exact dates and times TBA.

I will let you know when it airs so you can check it out. (Canadians that is.) After it airs I will see about posting the video so you can all see it.

It was really cute to see those happy little guys talking so proudly of their great art!

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Personal Note: Since this is my first post to this blog I decided to include it in the General category as well as the Spirit Bear category.

Also, if you have been to this Look What I Drawed site before you will see that it has changed!  What was once a regular website, is now an interactive web-log or blog for short. That means that after you read a post or watch a video (coming soon), you will be able to follow the comments and opinions of others and be able to offer your own ‘two cents’.

Being interactive makes things way more fun! So I hope you enjoy the new format.

There’s a bear in My House!

In Spring 2006 I was involved with a very exciting and rewarding charitable project called "Kermode Spirit Bears in the City". To watch "The making of the Spirit Bear" with interviews of Sullivan Elementary Kids click There’s a bear in My House!

The Lions Society of British Columbia, Easter Seals, and the Canucks for Kids, came up with this public art project after the huge success of the "Orcas in the City" project in 2003.  (My orca on this link is titled ‘Young and Free’ and is half way down the page.)

Click here for newspaper articles involving both our "Orcas in the City" project and our "Kermode Spirit Bears in the City" project.

These two projects were created to give exposure to artists and sponsors, beautify the city and ultimately to raise much needed funds for children with disabilities.

Basically the way the projects worked was, a limited number of gorgeous life sized fiberglass sculptures were created. An 8 foot baby orca whale, and a 71/2 foot baby Kermode Spirit Bear.

These were the ‘blank canvases’ on which the artists created their masterpieces. A sponsor funded the cost of the sculpture’s creation and installation, in exchange for their name on the plaque and brochure,  the say in the location of the sculpture, etc., etc.

The sculptures then spend the summer ‘out on the street’  enjoyed by the public and are auctioned off online and at a big gala event in the fall. Our Spirit Bear will be auctioned in October 2006.

What makes my Orca and Bear particularly special is the involvement of tons of children. As an artist who works with children’s art as the basis of my designs, I can combine the work of many children’s designs into one piece.

This really ‘raises the bar’ as far as involving the community.

With the orca project I used the drawings from 10 different children including my own. With the bear project there were over 500 children involved!

The sponsors for our bear were 4 Moms for kids. They were four moms from a private school in Vancouver, BC called West Point Grey Academy (WPGA). They approached me to paint the bear after one of the moms had purchased my orca in 2003.

Together with the help of the Fine Arts and Performing Director at WPGA Christina Mears, we collected over 700 drawings of specific images from the students of WPGA.

They held a special Spirit Bear Day to create these drawings and many of them will be published in a small book along with poems and stories the children have created. 

My husband Doug and I were there at WPGA on Spirit Bear Day, going from classroom to classroom observing the kids creating their drawings. It was so inspiring to see their excitement and raw enthusiasm for the project.

Right now our bear titled "WPGA School Spirit" is standing out on the corner of West Tenth and Sasamat in Vancouver, BC enjoying the ooohs and aaawes from the passers by … from the tiny baby to the big burly construction guy.

So go check out the video to listen to all the children’s darling opinions and come back here to leave an opinion of your own. I’m sure all the kids and their parents would to here your kind words!