Local writer Don Wise plots his experiences on the We are Woven community art project demonstrating how people came together during the 2017 wildfires. The project was unveiled during the Four Directions Festival and community members were invited to give input. Jasmine Alexander photo

VIDEO: 2017 wildfires focus of Williams Lake community art project

The public was invited to plot how they were feeling

An art project aimed at demonstrating how the community banded together during the 2017 wildfires will soon be on display at the Williams Lake Library.

The brainchild of Jasmine Alexander, We are Woven, features dozens of words connected by strands of wool, creating a colourful maze.

During the Four Directions Festival held on June 30 in the city’s downtown, Alexander and Bree Odd, community wellness co-ordinator with the United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo, encouraged passersby to make their mark on the piece.

“This is a visual way of commemorating and acknowledging how strong we are as a community,” Alexander said as people stopped to connect words together with wool that best represented themselves.

“There are words that are positive, but there are also words like scared and anxious, just to give people permission to feel how they are feeling and to also realize that these feelings we have are valid.”

Hopefully people will feel encouraged and be able to visualize themselves being connected to the people around them, she added.

Read more: AFTERBURN: How are you doing after the wildfires?

Alexander said she had a few emotional moments with the project throughout the afternoon.

“Watching people approach it and unexpected people engaging with it in self-reflection. I’ve had everyone from tiny toddlers to old refined cowboy types. As the artist I’ve felt really blessed by it.”

Vanessa Moberg, marketing director for the BIA, said the Bean Counter also provided coffee at the We Are Woven station.

“We were very lucky to have The Bean Counter send over the free coffee, adding both literal and figurative warmth to the project, making it a comfortable and inviting space,” Moberg said.

Moberg said the project will be installed in the library this week, and will be there for about four weeks through the anniversary of the evacuation order last year.

“We are working with other partners to find it a home after that,” Moberg said.

The project was funded by the United Way.

Read More: AFTERBURN: How can I help?


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