Vernon Community Arts Centre is holding a Pysanky workshop where participants can paint an egg for Ukraine

Paint eggs to help Ukraine

Vernon residents will have the chance to paint one-of-a-kind eggs for a good cause.

Stephanie Lawton will be leading workshops in Pysanky Ukrainian Egg Decorating at the Vernon Community Arts Centre April 2-3.

During the three-hour workshops, participants will learn how to use traditional tools and dyes to create the classic Ukrainian eggs.

"I learned the art of Pysanky many years ago from a Ukrainian family member, although I myself do not have Ukrainian heritage, I married into a Ukrainian family. My husband is of Ukrainian heritage, and therefore, my children are as well," said Lawton.

"We started this Pysanky eggs tradition in our own house many years ago and would decorate Ukrainian eggs every Easter. Over the years, I've taught other family members the art as well. We found it to be a wonderful way to teach our children about their heritage and Ukrainian traditions, as well as a great way to teach family members and friends about other cultures."

Lawton, who is of German, French, Japanese and Russian descent, but mainly Japanese, says this is something she would do regardless of background.

"Honestly, I'd like to think that doing this to support those in Ukraine is something I would offer to do regardless of our connection to Ukraine," explained Lawton

"Although my husband and children are connected to Ukraine, what's happening there is tragic, and if I can help by offering this class to teach more about traditional Ukrainian art while also helping those in need, I'm happy to do so."

Lawton is also a local potter who works out of the VCAC. She teaches various ceramic decorating techniques, including a Japanese carving technique known as Mishima.

The potter also has an Instagram called "Steph.made.it," where she creates art in cookie form.

The four Pysanky workshops will be held April 2 and 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1:30-4:30 p.m. both days.

Workshops are by donation with a suggested donation of $50/person. All proceeds will be directed to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal.

To register for these special workshops, give them a call or drop by the Polson Park arts centre in person.

Everything you need to decorate the eggs will be provided. Also, children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

The Vernon Community Arts Centre is also open to volunteers who would like to help empty the eggs before the workshops, or even donate some of their own.

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