Keremeos artist spreading joy in uncertain times

Layna Fowler was thrilled with the chance to paint a mural for her grandmother

Gas leaks, floods, wildfires, grass fires and a global pandemic – Sherri Fowler has been through a lot in the two short years she’s lived in Keremeos.

But through it all the 66-year-old has remained positive.

On Aug. 18 her home nearly burned down due to a grass fire in her neighbours yard.

“The flames were probably 60, 70 feet in the air and just metres away from my property,” Fowler said.

Luckily, the fire was extinguished and no one was harmed.

Despite the myriad of unfortunate events Fowler has faced, she still dedicates herself to having a positive impact on the people around her.

“I always look at life as my glass being half-full so whenever I am able to give the opportunity to anyone to add a bit of sunshine to others, I give it my best shot,” she said.

Recently, however, it’s been Fowler’s grand-daughter Layna who has been adding sunshine to her grandmother’s life.

Layna, a 21-year-old UBC Okanagan fine arts student, has spent the last week working on a mural on her grandmother’s garage door.

The mural was completed late Thursday (Aug. 20) afternoon.

Fowler says she’s inspired by what she’s seen in her granddaughter. “I see passion and hard work happening out there,” she said. “It gives me great pride to share this project with the community.”

With everything that’s happened in recent months, Fowler believes it’s vital to make the most of “any little burst of sunshine.”

For Layna, the opportunity to bring joy to her grandmother through her art was something she was ecstatic to take on. The young artist, who has been painting for five years, says her grandmother is in love with the mural.

“She kind of let me do whatever I wanted so she didn’t really know what it was going to look like when it was done but she’s really excited…she loves it.”

The sunflowers in the mural are symbolic of peace and happiness to Fowler. The recent Keremeos transplant by way of Kelowna finds solace outdoors in her garden. Fowler says her garden has become a place where she can escape and find balance.

“I would really like to see the spirit of sharing in the community,” she said. “We do work better as a community and there’s no better way to share than from within. I think that we need to take time to see a bit of sunshine amidst the chaos.”

Layna Fowler, 21, was very excited with the opportunity to practice her large-scale painting skills on her grandmother’s garage. (Sherri Fowler photo)

READ MORE: Mural adds artistic flair to downtown Keremeos

READ MORE: Keremeos mannequins a spark of positivity in the community

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