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Local artists find ways to help Ukraine

Greg Effinger's painting that represents the Ukrainian flag will be in this month's Riverwalk Collective exhibit at the Depot Art Center in which many of the artists are focusing on work that references Ukraine.
Greg Effinger/Courtesy photo

This month’s Riverwalk Collective exhibit will open during First Friday Artwalk in the main gallery of the Depot Art Center. The exhibit features 50 pieces of work from nine local artists and ranges in mediums including painting and photography. For the month of May, 10% of sales from the exhibit will go to Voices of Children, a Ukrainian nonprofit that helps children affected by war, providing psychological support, including art therapy, from a team of over 50 therapists.

For May, many of the artists are focusing on work that references Ukraine, including images with sunflowers or the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

The show will hang in the main gallery of the Depot Art Center through May 28 with an opening reception at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 6.



Riverwalk artist Audrey Bortz – who came up with the idea to donate a percentage of sales – has two images of sunflowers in this month’s show.

“I photographed a field of sunflowers in Olathe a couple of summers ago and had one printed on metallic paper with an acrylic face,” Bortz said. “As I began seeing all the sunflower images appear on Facebook, I pulled it out to put in the gallery and started thinking that perhaps we could do something as a group to benefit the victims in Ukraine.”



Local painter Greg Effinger created what he refers to as an “ode to Ukraine,” a watercolor painting featuring mountains in the foreground, illuminated from a setting sun and a night sky with a moon and Venus, often nicknamed “the evening star.” The sky was painted in hues of blue and yellow as a nod to the Ukrainian flag.

Besides the evidence of the flag in the sky, Effinger said, the moon is highlighted on the dark side of the moon.

If you go

What: Riverwalk Collective May Exhibit

Where: Main gallery of the Depot Art Center

When: 5-8 p.m., Friday, May 6.The exhibit will hang until May 28.

“This happens when the sun reflects off of the earth and back to the moon and we can see the sphere of the moon in addition to the direct sunlight hitting the far side,” he explained. “This light reminds me of the vastness and beauty of our world. The Ukrainian people may be on the opposite side of our globe but we are united in the desire for peace and the right to prosperity. There is a bright spot we all need to embrace.”

Riverwalk Collective artist Audrey Bortz took this photo of sunflowers in Olathe, Colorado. She has two photographs in this month's exhibit at the Depot Art Center in which many of the artists are focusing on work that references Ukraine.
Audrey Bortz/Courtesy photo

The featured artist this month is photographer Cyndi Marlowe who has seven pieces hanging in the gallery, as well as prints and photo books for sale in the gift shop.

Using a new technique for the show, she is primarily using acrylic mount photography. She is also showing a piece in collaboration with painter Cayla Sanderson whose painting is a reinterpretation of Marlowe’s photo; the two pieces will hang side by side in the gallery.

The Steamboat Creates Artwalk Map

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