Donna Dee has worked on the front lines of Vancouver’s addiction epidemic for 15 years—from transition houses to trauma recovery. She has lost numerous friends to both suicide and overdose, and says the children left behind are often forgotten in the dialogue surrounding the opioid crisis.
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WEEDS Presents: Homegrown artwork @barrettblasphemy March 22nd, 6-10pm! Featuring glass artists @leashglass @gibsonsglassworks @intoxicatedpineapple @redbeardglass @skullfishglass @khamiltonglass Alongside in house visual talent, music, dabs for a VERY good cause and loads of merch! This is a 19+ event #weeds #triedtestedtrue #stayhigh #cannabiscuties #cannabisculture #potculture #potart #glassblower #glassart #vancouver #britishcolumbia #sunshinecoast #glass #mixedmedia #painting #cannabis #dj #event #artshow #homegrown #canadianglass #canadianart
The Homegrown exhibition, which is slated as a spring equinox celebration of “all things local”, will feature handblown rigs from some of the country’s top glass artists and installations from Vancouver-based illustrators and designers.
Beyond highlighting art, music, and heady wares inspired by the best of B.C. bud, the event will bolster Dee’s fundraising effort, called We Care. With a goal of $10,000, Dee plans to take children who’ve lost parents to overdose or addiction to Camp Fircom on Gambier Island next spring.
“There are zero dollars allotted to children affected by the opioid crisis, not even in training teachers and caregivers how to deal with children coming into their classrooms after losing a parent,” she says to the Straight by phone.
“I want to create a fun, safe place for these kids to go where they can laugh and smile and build relationships,” she says. The camp is a week-long getaway for 20 children ranging from eight- to 12-years-old. Dee already has five kids signed up for the program and says it won't be difficult to find more in need.
While Dee notes there are well-funded bereavement programs available for youth in B.C., most camp initiatives focus on unpacking and addressing psychological trauma. She says for those returning to social care systems or homes lacking support, that can be a difficult process to monitor.
“A lot of these kids don't have strong family supports and, while the grief camps do a lot of great work, to open those wounds then drop them back into their normal lives in foster care is not something I wanted to do,” says Dee. “At this camp, they can be around other kids who have experienced similar loss, and they can talk about it if they want…but it’s not the focus. The focus is on having fun.”
The exhibit is sure to be a feast for bloodshot eyes, featuring ultraviolet light paintings from Jett Black Ink, trippy digital art by Eduardo Mendoza, screen prints from Barrett Blasphemy, and more. Several of local artist Bob High’s illustrations are carrying over from a similar art show held last November, which can be seen in dispensaries around the city and in the Vansterdam Comix.
The exhibit is also a celebration of some of B.C.’s top glass blowers, highlighting work from Intoxicated Pineapple, Elisha Moussadji of Leash Glass, Gibson Glassworks, Skullfish, and Redbeard Glass. A select few will even be demonstrating their talent during the event.
Spinning a soundtrack to the evening is DJ Dare2Funk and light refreshments will be served. While the show itself is free, Weeds has promised to match proceeds raised by a cannabis extracts dab bar for We Care. Dee says donations are also welcome and can be given at the show.
The event is 19+ and runs from 6 to 10 p.m.