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Joyful works create joyful outcomes

Birds Hill artist contributing to Artarama event

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Genevie Henderson loves to make art, and loves it even more when it goes toward a good cause.

That’s why the Local Colour Art Group member was thrilled to get involved with Artarama, a fundraiser held by Our Lady of the Prairie Knights of Columbus Council #5264 in support of several local organizations. This year’s sale will take place from April 4 to 6.
Henderson, who now lives near Birds Hill Park after living in Westwood for many years, enjoys working on pieces that lean toward the abstract, and lately, has been creating tapestry-inspired works.

Henderson has worked as a social worker for over 30 years, a role she takes on part-time right now with Canadian Advocate for the Adoption of Children. While her occupation doesn’t necessarily inform her work directly, it does play a role in how she approaches art.

"To paint something that is depression, or all the issues in the world, me, I can’t do it. For me, it’s almost too intense, I’d rather feel joy. I want to project more joyful images," she said. "For me, it’s the colour. That’s the driving force that keeps me going. It’s how do you put the colour together and raise the viewer’s interest in it when you’re looking at it."

She first got into creating art by taking a class with friends in 2006, but described herself as someone who can’t just do something halfway. Within the next couple of years, she found her work was marketable, and she investigated further how to manage an art career.

Henderson also takes inspiration from across the world, including her fascination with geishas, though she’s never been to Japan. As well, she has a fascination with Africa, as her husband was born to missionaries there. She also regularly goes to Santa Fe, N.M. to add some southwestern zest.

"I’m interested in the exotic. I’m interested in other cultures. I’m interested in costume," she said, noting she feels the layers of paint on a work — she especially enjoys painting over works with which she’s dissatisfied — remind her of a kimono.

Organizers say 44 artists will be a part of this year’s Artarama, and Henderson said she feels lucky to be a part of the group.

"They do good work in terms of the raffle, which I have always contributed to," she said. "For an artist to be part of the cadre, I feel that’s a privilege.

"It’s very important to me that I use my creativity to help others."

Artarama will be held at Mary Mother of the Church (85 Kirkbridge Dr.), and will take place on April 4 from 5 to 9 p.m., April 5 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and April 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, contact Al Borys at alborys2@gmail.com

Charities that benefit from Artarama include the Christmas Cheer Board, Winnipeg Harvest, the St. Boniface Hospital Research Foundation, and Rossbrook House.

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