Artists stand tall

• Glen Cowans was quick off the block to donate an artwork to help bushfire-affected communities. Photo by Michael Wearne.

A COLLECTIVE of local artists is putting together a new online market of donated works to help raise money for communities affected by bushfires.

Art for Oz Fires was organised at short notice last month after local sculptor and Fibonacci creative space owner Robby Lang called a public meeting in the Fremantle Town Hall.

AFOF coordinator Dawn Meader, an artist herself, said creatives wishing to donate works before the site’s March 18 launch could register them at http://www.freofirefund.wixsite.com/mysite

Local underwater photographer and gallery owner Glen Cowans was one of the first to put his hand up, donating a large, limited edition canvas print valued at $1950.

Cowans said he was happy to donate the image, called Lightfall, because the Freo Fire Fund was such a worthy cause.

The virtual marketplace will have it’s March 18 launch in the real world, with Assembly Yard event space in Montreal being donated for the occasion by owner Sam Davies.

“We are expecting 200-300 guests on the night,” Ms Meader said.

“As well as being able to view 20-30 artworks on display, they will see the site, with more than 200 artworks, go live then listen to live music and socialise on the grassed area beside the exhibition space.

The new initiative follows the sizzling success of two Fire Aid benefit concerts at the Fremantle Arts Centre, which raised more than $650,000.

The concerts were the brainchild of local music heavyweight Phil Stevens and bands within his fold, including international stars John Butler and The Waifs.

“It was a very emotional time for Dave and Josh from The Waifs because their homes in Moruya and Cobargo had to be evacuated,” Mr Stevens said.

“You can imagine the stress they were going through. However, they knew that playing these concerts was the most effective way for them to make a difference.”

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said the concerts helped bring the community together: “The fires have caused so much destruction right across the country, but the response from the community has been quite extraordinary.”

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