Ava Bothe has loved putting paintbrush to canvas for as long as she can remember. Ever since Bothe first began experimenting with paint and crayons in kindergarten, her art has provided her with an outlet for her creativity. Now in Grade 12, Bothe is turning to art for an emotional break from the challenges and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s really calming a lot of the time. If I’m stressed out it does help. It takes my mind off things.”
But Bothe’s passion for art has become more than a source of emotional strength for the 18-year-old. Now, she’s turning her talent into a source of financial support for Covenant health care teams facing the COVID-19 crisis from the frontlines. Bothe has decided to sell her artwork and donate half the proceeds from each piece to Covenant Foundation.
Bothe has a deep appreciation of some of the pressures facing the health care system. Her mom, Sara Davis, is a nurse in the Intensive Care Units at Covenant Health’s Misericordia and Grey Nuns Community Hospitals.
“I know the hospitals are going to be needing lots more help because of this pandemic,” Bothe says. “I thought it would be a good foundation to donate to because it’s needed right now.”
“It makes me proud of her because she’s a very selfless person,” adds her mom. “She’s going out of her way to do something and raise money for a charity.”
With Grade 12 classroom studies now at a standstill and learning moved online, Bothe explains that she was looking for a project to fill her time. By turning to art, she’s motivated to fill that void and raise funds for a cause very close to her family’s heart.
She recently sold her first piece, after a friend of a friend saw a post about her benefit project on Facebook. The buyer paid $100 for the custom piece, which Bothe created using a combination of colours chosen by the buyer.
“I was really excited because it was the first one that I had actually sold. It was exciting and it was fun making it as well.”
Bothe creates abstract pieces on canvas, working mainly with acrylic paints. She also incorporates texture using recycled materials, such as glass and wire frames.
“It’s her way of giving back, to contribute a little bit with the COVID issues that are happening right now,” says Davis. “It makes her feel good that her art is able to make people happy but also to be able to give something back to the charity.”
Davis says it’s been a tremendous boost to witness the many ways that Albertans are reaching out to provide financial support to bolster Alberta’s response to this public health crisis.
“I just want to say thank you to everybody….any type of fundraising that people are doing definitely helps.”
Despite the additional pressures facing health care because of COVID-19, Davis adds she’s determined to do everything she can to provide compassionate care during these challenging times.
“I’m just grateful to be able to be at work and help out with this,” Davis says. “I love what I do.”
To learn more about the art pieces available, please click here to visit Ava Bothe's art fundraiser on Instagram.
Written by: Laura Ehrkamp