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Piece from artist to benefit volunteer firefighters

IMAGE PROVIDED

Local artist Fred Gilmour is one of more than 80 artists from across the country who donated a piece of their artwork to be sold in an online auction from May 10 to May 15. The auction will feature art made of charcoal from the devastating wildfires in Colorado that burned more than 700,000 acres.

The 2021 Ashes to Art Project, co-founded in 2012 by Lori Joseph and Tim O’Hara after the Colorado High Park Fire, asked artists across the country to donate various forms of art — ranging from paintings to jewelry to sculptures — to be sold in an online auction for charity. Their art must feature charcoal from the wildfires in some way.

Gilmour’s painting depicts one of the oldest forms of firefighting equipment — a bucket. The bucket was discovered on the fire site and is a survivor of the rapid oxidation that occurs during a fire. Charcoal from the fire was ground up and incorporated into the paint Gilmour used to complete the work.

All proceeds from this year’s auction will equally benefit the Poudre Canyon Fire Protection District and the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department — two volunteer fire departments that were financially devastated after working tirelessly for several months to contain and extinguish the wildfires.

Online bidding for pieces will begin Monday, May 10. Bidding will be open through the week until 10 p.m., May 15. Items can be viewed and bid on at the Bidding for Good website:

www.biddingforgood.com/auction/auctionhome.action?auctionId=341697649

Artists from all 50 states are represented. Work from artists from Columbia, South America and Great Britain are also featured this year. There will be about 100 pieces of art available for bidding.

Readers can see pieces from the 2012 Ashes to Art Project at: https://www.instagram.com/theashestoartproject

The Ashes to Art Project, founded in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 2012, is a way for the creative community to support the local firefighters who worked to protect the homes, lives and families during the most devastating series of fires in Colorado history.

Through the project, artists across the U.S. donated their submissions, which included charcoal from the wildfire in some form. All forms of artwork were accepted. Gilmour participated in that original effort and visited the fire site to experience it firsthand.

Again, in summer and fall of 2020, fires raged across the state of Colorado, causing devastation never seen before in the state. Between the Cameron Peak, East Troublesome, Mullen and Pine Gulch fires, more than 700,000 acres burned across seven counties in Colorado. The Cameron Peak fire, just outside of Fort Collins, burned from Aug. 13 until Dec. 2, 2020 and covered 208,913 acres. These fires and others during the record-breaking 2020 wildfire season caused an immense amount of damage to homes and wild lands and required nationwide resources and support to control.

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