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North Van fourth-grader churns out art for charity
NORTH VANCOUVER -- A budding Picasso has used her free time at home to do some good by picking up a paint brush.
Kate Morrissy, 9, says the pandemic has been “pretty boring,” prompting her to fill the time with art.
“Painting has been the most exciting part of my day,” she tells CTV News Vancouver.
The young artist draws inspiration from scenic places she wants to visit, such as Cannon Beach in Oregon.
Her mother, Karen Kerr, says Kate has been taking art lessons for the past two years, and since the pandemic started, she has been churning out more paintings.
“I was really happy to see that we could do something fun and productive,” Kerr says. “It's one-on-one time that we normally never get to have.”
Kerr has been painting for most of her life and coaches Kate as she paints.
When the fourth-grader finished three canvases in a matter of days, Kerr posted them on social media and people showed an interest in buying the paintings.
“Kate and I did some brainstorming with a colleague of mine and decided, well, how can we turn this into something? And that's when we decided to do the auction to raise money for charity,” Kerr said.
Kate decided she wanted to support the Vancouver Aquarium during its closure. She says it’s one of her favourite places, where she’d go to summer camps and even hold birthday parties.
She also wanted to help the BC Cancer Foundation, which holds a special place in her heart.
“I want to help raise money for cancer research because my grandmother died of cancer. So, I want to help so there’s a cure for it in the future,” Kate says.
Kerr says she was especially touched to learn the reason behind Kate’s charity of choice.
“I was really happy to hear that that it means that much to her. She's never met her grandmother and so, to me, it just gave me an indication that she thinks a lot more of her than she actually admits,” Kerr says.
They held a Zoom auction with 16 bidders, who helped raise roughly $2,500 by snatching up the six paintings on offer.
For those who weren’t able to get a Kate Morrissy original, the family also created prints for $30 apiece.
After the success of the first auction, Kate says she will not be putting down her paintbrush anytime soon.
“I’d like to do another auction, so I will definitely be painting more this summer,” she says.
People who are interested in buying a print can email the family at firstname.lastname@example.org.