Trail artist giving back to church

Catherine Wetmore is donating her life’s work to raise money for a much-needed renovation at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Trail.

A Trail artist is donating her life’s work to raise money for a much-needed renovation at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Trail.

Painter Catherine Wetmore has dug through her work that dates back to the 80s to pull together a collection of acrylic, watercolour and mixed-medium pieces to sell off for a good cause.

“Having lived a great deal of my life near forests, tundra and water, I try to express in my paintings a connection with nature – one that is spiritual, magical and awesome,” she notes on her website. “I hope, within my images, to convey these expressions of the earth – a beautiful world that needs cherishing.”

The money made at the sale held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. will go toward the $120,000 needed to improve accessibility – which will include the installation of a wheelchair lift – to the common room in the basement of the Trail church.

“It’s a wonderful statement of her faith,” said churchwarden Michael Hargreaves. “The building was built in 1955 and at that time we just didn’t think about handicap access or things of that nature. It’s more a need these days. In fact, the demographics of Trail is much older than it used to be.”

Wetmore holds the church very near and dear to her heart, noting that the architect who built it was a close friend, and that her children were baptized and her daughter married there.

The UBC fine arts degree graduate returned to Trail four years ago with her husband Douglas after 30 years in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

Her daughters had all moved back to the Kootenays so the Wetmores followed, and bought a house in Tadanac, two doors down from where Douglas was raised.

She hasn’t put down the paintbrush in about 60 years and still creates art, which is on display at Trail’s VISAC Gallery and the Rouge Gallery in Rossland.

“I guess it’s in my blood,” she said. “I just like making images and there are things that move me, particularly in landscape.”

About 30 larger framed pieces will be on display during a silent auction for the first three hours of the exhibit, with the remaining couple hundred pieces for sale at a reduced price up to 75 per cent off.

“The prices are so silly that it enables people who love art and would love to have a piece of original art to go ahead and do it,” said Hargreaves.