About Art for Aid & Colleen Gray
The Art For Aid Project works to support First Nations, Inuit and Metis art education programs in Canada through access to quality art supplies and skills labs. We work to bring forward an awareness of the issues facing remote communities today.
Our symbolic icon and its meaning ...
The bear is a powerful symbol of healing and brotherhood among the First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities. The bear symbolizes healing, wisdom, and strength in the connection to the land through the use of the traditional medicines. All nations have their respective representations of what each colour means to them.
Our bear is comprised of the 5 colours used among our Indigenous communities. Yellow is the East - a place of new beginnings. Red is the South - the place of our childhood and of learning. Black is the West - representing healing and the past. The Cree will use the colour blue in the West. The bear itself is White is the North - the place of great age, of wisdom and of introspection and deeper thought.
More information on the project can be found at https://artforaid.ca
The Art For Aid Project
The passionate artist behind it all.
Since 2013, Metis artist Colleen Gray has, been creating and selling her moving and unusual art, using the proceeds to ship art supplies into remote Indigenous schools across Canada.
Many schools in remote communities work with insufficient and often minimal quality art supplies. Colleen believes strongly in the power of art to invite healing and provide a creative vehicle to help break the rigours of isolation for Indigenous youth.
“Art is a powerful creative force but it just can’t happen without tools.”
New and gently used art supplies are collected from August to May through school project involvement, from supporters and from organizations who want to see educational improvements for Indigenous youth. Once the supplies are collected, Colleen sorts and boxes them, and ships them to a roster of schools that have inadequate supplies and budgets. The Art For Aid Website - www.artforaid.ca - offers a comprehensive list of supplies that are most needed. Occasionally through social media, Colleen will request special materials that will be used for specific programs being built in a school.
This ongoing initiative gives everyone an opportunity to help either by supporting the work through the purchase of art and art products, or through financial and art supply donations.
The quality of the art and art products is second to none. 100% of the proceeds are used to run Art For Aid’s demanding shipping and operations budget. Colleen is a volunteer in her own project and does not draw a salary from the funds raised in doing this work.
The Governor General of Canada Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteering
Colleen Gray - Award Presented Sept 17, 2021
for her role in supporting art exploration through access to art supplies and creative art programs in Canadian remote Indigenous schools through The Art For Aid Project. For links to the Governor General's coverage and media coverage, go to https://www.artforaid.ca/media-coverage
Art For Aid is a project that is grateful to operate under the registered charity I Love First Peoples. Together we support dynamic and accessible changes for Indigenous youth across Canada. (www.ilfp.ca)