Art supporting science

EcoFair is just one month away and an incredible community of artists are showing their support!

In the long tradition of arts supporting science, an amazing creative community has come together to support Raincoast and Pender Island Conservancy in our collaborative effort to permanently protect KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest on S,DÁYES (Pender Islands). Since first announcing our campaign, artists like Morgan Warren, Owl and Bear Studio, and K Creations have lent their talents to growing community awareness and raising funds. Now that we are nearly 70% of the way toward our final goal, our community of artists is growing!


From October 22-23, 2022, Raincoast and the Conservancy, along with our co-organizers at PenderPOD, will be hosting the first annual Trees to Seas EcoFair on S,DÁYES. This initiative has been organized to raise awareness of and celebrate conservation efforts happening across the southern Gulf Islands and beyond and consists of a variety of educational and restoration-focused events. One such event is a silent auction, the proceeds from which will go towards permanently protecting KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest. The auction will be running throughout EcoFair weekend featuring items from local businesses, brands, and tour operators from across the Gulf Islands/Greater Victoria region. It also features the work of a number of talented local artists, many of whom have a close connection to the land our organizations are working to protect.

The artists of EcoFair

Painter Kim Pollard is based on Pender Island. Quiet in her outwardly expression, Kim expresses herself nostalgically through a visual language of beauty and hope in her paintings -whatever the subject may be. The untitled piece she has donated in support of the protection of KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest, depicts the enormity, height, grandeur, and dignity of an elder tree. She began by blocking-in a human in the lower right, to give scale, but in the end, felt that the tree needed to stand on its own, in its own glory and strength. The piece is intended to put a visual voice to that which cannot speak.

This piece was featured in the ‘Trees, Tides, & Trails’ Group Art Show in August, graciously hosted at Sea Star Winery, which is located adjacent to KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest. Though Kim had many inquiries into the piece, she could not bring herself to price the painting. Instead, she decided to donate it to the Pender Conservancy and Raincoast to help raise money for the acquisition and permanent protection of the 45 acre ‘Forest of the Future’. Something that is near and dear to her heart.

“Untitled” (60” x 36”, oil on canvas) by Kim Pollard. Photo by Kenta Kikuchi.

Dave and Alison Roberts are woodturners at Darawoodworks. They know the land that is now known as KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest well. In the years preceding our campaign to protect the land, there were plans in place to subdivide it. A few roads were carved into the landscape, and several years ago, a large, old cedar tree split and fell across one such road. Someone  attempted to cut that tree to clear the roadway. On one of Dave and Alison’s many visits down to the ocean front along that road, they discovered the attempted tree cutting along with a few flat chunks of very old cedar just left there. Their inner-woodturners decided that something should be created from that tree. The piece donated to the EcoFair silent auction has subsequently been called:  KELÁ_EKE. 

A fallen western redcedar tree.
Fallen western redcedar tree.
A turned cedar platter.
KELÁ_EKE (24″ cedar platter) by Darawoodworks.

Sandy Shreve has  always loved sunflowers, especially once their petals droop around seeds ripened and ready for the chickadees to eat. Sandy decided to do a simple painting to honour this time of interwoven endings and beginnings, but didn’t want to call it something as obvious as Chickadee and Sunflower. Eventually, she had the realization that, to the chickadee, all those seeds must seem like a banquet, a word we usually use for feasts people put on for people. She decided that word also belongs to the chickadees – and called the painting Banquet. This is much like the banquet provided by undeveloped intertidal zones to coastal birds like belted kingfishers. Without strong conservation measures in place, these bountiful habitats and the species that depend on them are at risk. 

A framed painting of a bird at a flower, by Sandy Shreve.
“Banquet” (18” x 13”, framed, acrylic on canvas) by Sandy Shreve.

Marina Wright is an artist from Nanaimo with a background in biological sciences. Like many other local artists (and biologists), she wants to help celebrate and appreciate B.C.’s species and ecosystems. Her painting Mushroom was inspired by a tiny mushroom on the forest floor located in the Southern Gulf Islands. It was created by incorporating the bold colours of the orange and red pine needles and the yellow and green leaves.

Painting of a mushroom on the forest floor surrounded by blue and green light.

Nancy Silo is a Pender-based professional potter. She describes her work as varying  with the seasons, materials, and the many sources of inspiration that island life provides. Her donated piece, Kingfisher Blues is representative of the waters that surround S,DÁYES and the feather colourations of the belted kingfisher.

A white pottery bowl with blue outside.
“Kingfisher Blues” (Stoneware clay bowl) by Nancy Silo.

Watercolour artist Morgan Warren’s studio is based on Pender Island. Her work can be found in many private collections all over the world. Morgan was a strong supporter of Raincoast and the Conservancy in our work to purchase and protect Flycatcher Forest, and this support has been extended to our current land protection campaign.

“I believe it is of the utmost importance that our natural world with all its wonderful fauna and flora be preserved, not just for future generations of humans but for all the other citizens of this Earth, whose presence in the Web of Life so enriches our own. We all need each other to ensure the continuance of a healthy planet. We are all One.”

Morgan Warren
Kingfisher painting framed by Morgan Warren.
“Kingfisher” (28.5” x 34”, framed. Limited edition lithograph taken from original watercolour, by Morgan Warren.

Morgan’s painting will be on display in her studio on Pender Island throughout the month of October. Her studio is typically open by appointment, but will be open for viewings between 11AM and 4PM during Ptarmigan Art’s Fall Crawl Studio Tour (October 1-2). Morgan’s studio is #4 on the Fall Crawl map

How to help protect KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest through art purchase

To bid on the works featured in this article check out the EcoFair silent auction. Auction items will be on display and open for bids at the Studio at Hope Bay (4301 Bedwell Harbour Rd, Pender Island) from 10AM to 3PM on both October 22 and 23.  Kim Pollard’s untitled painting, will be on display at Sea Star Vineyard and Winery (6621 Harbour Hill Drive) beginning in early October and will be available for purchase during EcoFair’s Evening Gala Fundraiser at Sea Star from 7PM to 9:30PM on Saturday October, 22, 2022.

You can help

Raincoast’s in-house scientists, collaborating graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors make us unique among conservation groups. We work with First Nations, academic institutions, government, and other NGOs to build support and inform decisions that protect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and the wildlife that depend on them. We conduct ethically applied, process-oriented, and hypothesis-driven research that has immediate and relevant utility for conservation deliberations and the collective body of scientific knowledge.

We investigate to understand coastal species and processes. We inform by bringing science to decision-makers and communities. We inspire action to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats.

Coastal wolf with a salmon in its month.
Photo by Dene Rossouw.