More than 7,000 miles away from the wintery wonderland that is the San Juan Islands, Australia is burning. Since July 2019, more than 17.9 million acres have burned across the nation, devastating the landscape and bringing many species of animals to near-extinction.
“I’ve been wanting to help the animals affected by the horrific wildfires in Australia,” artist Jan Murphy said. “Having a benefit featuring artworks seemed like a good way to help.”
Murphy and fellow artist Milton Roff are hosting a mixed media art show at the San Juan Island Community Theatre during the month of February to raise money for animal welfare efforts in Australia. A reception is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
“I thought it was a great idea,” Roff said.
While the show itself is free to anyone who visits the theatre, Murphy and Roff’s work will be sold to benefit charities and there will be an opportunity for attendees to donate to the cause.
“The community theatre provides a wonderful venue to show art and allows the public to view art free of charge over the course of the month the show is up … offering the opportunity to purchase art to help the animals or simply make a donation,” Murphy said.
Murphy is a mixed media assemblage artist who has recently been experimenting with painting and mixed media on canvas. She said she enjoys painting animals in a whimsical way.
Roff is also a mixed media artist who utilizes oil paint, watercolor, house paint, charcoal and more on cardboard and wood panels. He is a self-described figurative abstractionist who prefers to paint people.
Works from both artists will be available to purchase.
“[The community] should come see [the show] and then they can decide if they want to buy it or not,” Roff said.
People interested in other ways of helping animal victims of the Australian fires can visit the New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc. website at https://www.wires.org.au/. They can also donate to The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-thirsty-koalas-devastated-by-recent-fires; or the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-our-koala-bushfire-victims.