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What strikes you as beautiful?

The flower that follows the sun does so even on cloudy days.

― Robert Leighton

Sunflowers for Ukraine
The Electric Street Gallery is hosting a sunflower-themed art sale benefit for refugees from the war in Ukraine.

Like everyone else, we are struggling with our thoughts and feelings about the situation in Ukraine. And even separate from its association with Ukraine, the sunflower is a symbol of constancy and stability and hope.

So it came as no surprise that  our regular artists have produced sunflower themed art recently and asked us to exhibit it. At first we were happy to exhibit them, bringing out a large and striking piece by Clara Kim to draw attention to them.

For Autumn
acrylic on canvas, 36" x 36"
Clara Kim
Like so many other people, we are frustrated about how little we can do for the people stuck in the awful situation. But to exhibit art at a commercial gallery is to ask people to pay for it. We found ourselves in a quandary. The last thing we wanted from the invasion was to profit from it, even a little bit.  We wanted to display paintings of sunflowers in solidarity but not to sell them!

So the idea of the sunflower-themed benefit show 
was born. We would sell the paintings and send the proceeds to a charitable organization supporting the Ukrainian people.  

As usual when we invite various artists to interpret a theme, the range of interpretations is fascinating!
End of Summer
Susan MW Cartwright
watercolour on cradleboard; 6" x 6"
Sunflower Delight
Susan Reiter
oil on canvas; 8"x8"
Elisabeth Arbuckle
acrylic on canvas; 18" x 18"
Bees (detail)
Olga Radushkevich
batik; 22" x 68"
Elizabeth Mitchell
acrylic on cradleboard; 10" x 10"
Nuts and Bolts

We're organized as a for-profit business, but we wanted to get started with this initiative quickly. So we're stuck in the short term charging HST.

If there's enough community support to merit it, we'll be looking for a recognized non-profit through which to run this effort. We know that artists are eager to produce sunflower-themed art and find some small way to help in this very difficult situation.

So please do let us know if you are interested in acquiring an inspiring artwork to reward your contribution and remind you of the inspiring bravery of the people of Ukraine. 

We encourage you to contribute, whether you want a painting of sunflowers or not. You can contribute directly to UNHCR (the United Nations High Commission for Refugees) or to the Canadian Red Cross, for example. We will be sending our contributions to the former.


Elisabeth Baechlin
acrylic on cradleboard; 10" x 10"
Seeking the Sun
Karen Taylor Dyrda
oil on canvas 18"x18"
Sunflowers for Ukraine
Peter Leckett
acrylic on cradleboard; 10'"x 10"
Pat Carbonneau
acrylic on cradleboard; 12"x12"
Some Thoughts on Coping

We gallerists are both children of eastern European refugees of World War II. We understand, intellectually, that similar injustices have been ongoing around the world, that other than as a matter of scale this sort of wanton destruction, displacement and cruelty is nothing new. But for us it feels close to home, and especially after all Ottawa has been through these past few months, it's been very hard to take. The world seems a lot less safe and kind than it once did.

It's also frustrating how little we can do to help, how we are left outside the situation, watching, unable to change the course of grand events. One thing we can do, of course, is to send material support to those affected.

But it's also important not to become casualties ourselves!

It's not selfish to take solace and pleasure in those aspects of our lives that are still going well. Even the people sheltering in Kyiv's subway tunnels can take comfort in music, in bravery, in the small victories of the human soul. We do Ukraine no good by suffering vicariously from their grief. It's part of our duty to them to appreciate our good fortunes and enjoy our freedom. 


The Painter of Sunflowers
portrait of Vincent van Gogh by Paul Gaugin
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Words of Support to and from a Russian Friend

While not in any way comparable to the great trauma being faced by Ukrainians, this is also a serious misfortune that has befallen the Russian people. It's easy to forget, among all this horror, how the situation is awkward and difficult for those Russians who can see and understand the real situation behind the veil of misinformation. Those outside Russia, particularly, are as frustrated as the rest of us in seeking ways to change the course of the malice being carried out in their name.

Our friend and contributing artist Olga Radushkevich is among those people. This time has been very difficult for her and her family. She has expressed deep concern for the people of Ukraine and enthusiastic support for our initiative.

In addition to a wonderful sunflower themed batik and this charming landscape. Olga has generously contributed a large number of watercolour landscapes  priced quite modestly. Not all of these exquisite paintings will be listed individually online.  Please come into the gallery to have a look at a portfolio of unframed watercolours.

We would like to especially express our heartfelt appreciation for Olga's participation in this endeavour. If the world were full of people with Olga's kindness and decency, it would be a much better place.

Peace and Quiet
Olga Radushkevich
watercolour on paper, framed

Please Visit Us!
Online photographs don't do art full justice. We encourage you to come by and have a look to get the full impact of these marvelous artworks. 

In addition to pieces included in this benefit. we have many more beautiful and charming artworks for sale. Our efforts are intended to brighten the neighbourhood and the homes and lives of our customers. We welcome art-loving visitors of all sorts, whether they are in a position to purchase or not.

We're located just off the Rideau Pathway, so do wander by on your urban hike or ride, and have a peek at our display windows while you're in the neighbourhood! 


11 AM - 4 PM 
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays

299 Crichton Street at Electric Street


We look forward to seeing you!

As always, we try to keep the gallery windows interesting for passers-by.

Curbside pickup and local delivery (within the city limits) remain available.  
We also can ship many of our pieces within North America.

We and our artists greatly appreciate
you shopping locally!

 299 Crichton Street (at Electric Street)
or shop online. 24/7/365.

Telephone inquiries welcome at 613 748 - 2008.

Or contact us via email using this form.
galerie electric street gallery
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