Penticton artist gathering thoughts, prayers to be included in new mural supporting Ukraine

Add your cloud for Ukraine

A South Okanagan artist is hoping the community will send her their thoughts, prayers and support for Ukraine, to be used in a mural installation at the Penticton Art Gallery showing solidarity with the nation as it grapples with a Russian invasion.

Farron Huze will be putting the mural up outside the gallery this weekend, April 2 and 3, and has been gathering messages to be written inside clouds at its top to create a "sky full of prayers."

"The principle of it is the Ukrainian flag. So it's sunflowers for the yellow, the blue is entirely left alone," Huze explained of the vision.

"The top third of it is going to be filled with clouds. So anybody has the opportunity to pick up a cloud or make their own cloud, or alternatively, on Saturday and Sunday, come down and grab a cloud to add whatever you want to say. You are creating a message of hope."

Huze said the idea is to show Ukrainians and people of Ukrainian descent — a large group nationally, given that Canada has the second largest diaspora of Ukrainian people after Russia — that the community is behind them.

"It would be really nice if they were able to drive here and just see visibly, these are all the prayers of people who live here who care," she explained.

Clouds are available for pickup for free at the Penticton Art Gallery and The Book Shop on Main Street, or send Huze a message via Instagram here with your thoughts for a cloud, and she will print it out and include it.

The entire community is also welcome to join Huze as she assembles the mural this weekend, as part of the ongoing Ignite the Arts Festival. She hopes the focus will not be on her as an artist, but community participation in the cause.

"What can you do in the face of great atrocity but continue to love and share hope and make art, really?" Huze said.

"I guess that's really all there is for it, and just trying to be cognizant of just how small the world is. We're all in it together and it's very likely that we will see quite an arrival of Ukrainian people."

Join Huze at the Art Gallery Saturday and Sunday to watch the work unfold or add your message.

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