Fundraising “community canvas” on display in Portree library

A colour-packed painting created by over 200 people from not just Skye but right around the world has now gone on permanent display in Portree’s community library.

Based on an ocean scene, although containing everything from rowers to a lighthouse and dinosaurs to flamingos, the “Community Canvas” was sold at auction for £375 and donated to the library.

The original idea came from Skyeworks Gallery in Portree who decided last year to support one charity or charitable event annually. The aim was to create a platform by which local artists could put something back into the community and work together to see the difference it can make.

As a result, the decision was taken to support the Row St Kilda Skye project and that began with local artists asked to create their own paintings. More than 60 were submitted and after being exhibited they were sold with a price tag of £75 each — at least a third of that going to the charity event.

However, still keen to use art to raise awareness of Row St Kilda Skye, the gallery then dreamed up the community canvas initiative. At one point local artist Marion Boddy-Evans took the canvas to Armadale Craft Fair and then kept any eye on its progress over the following months. The result was the large artwork with the hundreds who contributed and made donations — both locals and those visiting Skye from around the world — adding their signatures to the back of the canvas.

A library spokesperson said: “To date the Skyeworks Gallery has raised around £1,350 for the Row St Kilda Skye initiative, and that is some achievement. When we were approached and asked to find space for the community canvas we thought it was a wonderful idea.

“Now it has pride of place on our walls and we hope that the scores of local people who made their mark on it will call in and have a look. We are sure they will be pleased with the final result.”

Pictured are Megan Cartwright and Lewis and Abbie Clark admiring the canvas during a visit to the library last week.