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Artists raising money to protect Rockies from coal mining

Trish Hoskin donated this original ‘Save the Rockies Frog Cushion’ for the auction.

Two Fort Macleod artists are among a group throwing their support behind an effort to stop coal mining on the Eastern Slopes.

Trish Hoskin and Jan Walker donated pieces to the Artists for the Rockies on-line art auction in support of the Livingstone Landowners Group.

“Another resident in Fort Macleod and I started talking about an art auction to help raise funds for the legal fees against the province,” Hoskin said of the auction’s genesis. “We started to put out feelers to artists we thought would be interested.”

Jan Walker donated this 18-inch by 30-inch rug titled ‘Trout Stream’ for the auction.

One of those people belonged to a Pincher Creek organization that was approached by the Livingstone Landowners Group with a similar idea.

“We connected and decided to work together,” Hoskin said.

Livingstone Landowners Group is a volunteer organization of 150 ranchers, land owners and their supporters focused on sustainable land stewardship in southwestern Alberta.

Artists for the Rockies hopes to raise $18,000. All money raised goes directly towards initiatives with no administration costs.

Livingstone Landowners Group will use the money for efforts that include hiring legal and expert witnesses for mine hearings, as well as public engagement campaigns to support and protect the Eastern Slopes from coal mine development.

“This is important to me because I care about what happens to our Rockies,” Hoskin said. “It’s scary to see what’s already happened, and it’s unacceptable the way the province went about this situation. ”

“Even after the coal mine policy was reinstated in February, there are still new valid leases, and lots of exploration going on still.  All of this threatens the wildlife and water.”

Hoskin was part of a group of six people who worked together to contact a wide range of artists who donated work to the auction.

Robert Bateman donated this 17 3/4-inch by 23-inch original print titled ‘Bison Head’ for the auction.

Robert Bateman, a member of the Order of Canada, for example, donated a bison head sketch.

Jan Walker donated an 18-inch by 30-inch rug that depicts trout in a stream.

The rug, which has loops on the back of the upper edge so that it can hang on a wall, is made of burlap, hand-dyed yarn, wool strips, upcycled cashmere and alpaca.

“Once I retired, I took up fly fishing and between that and kayaking, I have had the good fortune to enjoy many of the rivers, creeks and lakes in southern Alberta,” Walker explained.

“I realize how fortunate I am to be able to walk out my door and stroll across the prairie, hike through the river valley or swim and paddle down the Oldman River. Out my window, I can see the Rockies and the Eastern Slopes. I hope that I can convey my love of this land, its history and creatures in my artwork.”

Hoskin created an original “Save the Rockies Frog Cushion” for the auction.

Other artists whose work is in the auction are Tayte McRae, Janifer Calvez, Shannon Lawlor, Bill Hunt, Wes Olson, Robert Bateman, Valerie Wynder, Kevin Cantelon, Milan J. Stevulak, Jan Triska, Ian Dowsett, Alicia Doerksen, Don Hann, Karen McCallum, Florence Shone, Neil Jones, Alyssa Bohart, Heather Sinton, Marie Lingwood, Neil Kathol, Mike Gibeau and Colleen Campbell.

Items in the auction include jewellery, paintings, bronze-glazed ceramic mugs, a big leaf maple bowl, bighorn sheep cutting board, bison head etching, quilts and handmade waterfowl calls.

The auction runs from May 6-16 at

Hoskin said if the auction is successful, there may be another one.

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