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Rock cut painting donated to school, City

Two creations from a local artist will soon be mounted in an area school and at Flin Flon City Hall, thanks in part to several donations from arts aficionados.

Two creations from a local artist will soon be mounted in an area school and at Flin Flon City Hall, thanks in part to several donations from arts aficionados.

Two paintings will be mounted after the donations, both part of a series made by Creighton-based artist Catherine Joa, who created several large paintings showing graffiti and rock cuts as shown along northern highway and by-ways. Joa, who teaches art at Creighton Community School, has had other pieces shown at the centre over the year during individual and group exhibits, usually featuring familiar pieces of the northern landscape.

One of the pieces, which shows a piece of rock graffiti reading “Don’t Forget to Smile… Ya Jackfish” will be mounted at Flin Flon City Hall - another piece, showing another piece of graffiti reading “Be happy”, now has a permanent home at Creighton Community School - the same school Joa works at. The piece, all seven feet high by 39 inches wide of it, is already mounted at the school.

The pieces were shown elsewhere in Saskatchewan, including in Regina through the Saskatchewan Arts Council, part of an exhibit showing northern and rural art. The council requested to have the pieces stay in Regina as part of a permanent collection, but instead the pieces were taken back north and exhibited at the NorVA Centre and Gallery before two were donated.

It took money to make the project happen - that’s where Greg East came in. The arts figure helped wrangle enough money to donate the pieces, including several large monetary donations - including one from himself and his wife, Jan Modler.

“They were at NorVA for about six weeks. That’s where the idea germinated, to buy them with some generous donors to help the project,” said East.

The move was made possible from a long list of donors who provided money to the project, including 10 donations of more than $500 from a series of local arts lovers - Joanne Bisson, Leigh Campbell, East and Modler, Jeni East and Kirk Spreadborough, Sonia and Tom Goodman, Dennis Hyndman, Bruce and Janet Joa, Dave and Sara-Lynne Koop, Ray Rossington and Vivian and Ted Smook each helped make the project happen. Also assisting were a slew of contributors, both private citizens and businesses, who helped donate money to help make the project happen.

At first, East said the plan was to loan the pieces - that changed on the suggestion of Modler, who said the City and school would be better off to have the pieces instead of having to worry about NorVA taking them back.

“She’s on the NorVA board and she said, ‘Look - NorVA doesn’t want to have to deal with a loan. Just gift the freaking thing to the City and to the school. That’s the way it is - they’re gifts to the both of them from our generous donors,” East said.

In the meantime, another fundraising effort is underway to buy and move another of Joa's pieces in the series somewhere in the community. Anyone wishing to donate to get the pieces mounted can get involved by calling East at (204) 687-0754.

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