Community comes together for night of fundraising and more after Marshall fire – CBS Denver

LOUISVILLE, Colorado (CBS4)– Downtown Louisville was bustling on a Friday night. People flocked to the Creative Framing Art Gallery where owner Janet Russell had an idea.

(credit: CBS)

“We had to do something and just help our community. Really, my goal was just to get them out.

But also to raise funds for the victims. Throughout the gallery, works were donated by artists not only local, but from all over Colorado and beyond.

“They want those kinds of flourishes back in their lives that art brings to everyone,” her husband, Bill Carlson, said.

“There were a lot of people out there still struggling,” Janet said.

In total, the gallery raised over $23,000 for the victims of the fires.

But amid fundraising and across the city, the conversation remains what people experienced in late December and ever since.

“I don’t know when it’s going to get back to anything close to normal,” said Debra Fahey, who lost her home in the Marshall Fire and also serves on the Louisville City Council.

She doesn’t mind people asking her.

(credit: CBS)

“They don’t say, ‘Oh, it’s terrible that you lost your house,’ they say, ‘How are you, what can I do for you? How can I help you?’ And then I get a hug.

Down the street at the Empire Lounge, the topic of much discussion was also the Marshall Fire. It’s hard to avoid.

“We don’t have the smoke and fire damage where we haven’t lost our home or a pet, but we feel for everyone and it’s going to take a very, very long time,” said Kathleen Urbanic.

Her husband, Ted Barber, shared how the evening’s conversations went.

“A friend of my wife was sitting here and came over and just asked us, the first thing was, ‘How’s your house?'”

It’s hard to avoid asking when people who see each other occasionally pass each other.

(credit: CBS)

“Actually, you care. And it’s not a burden when you care.

Artist Rebecca Martin donated a painting to the effort, but also connects with a fire victim she knows in another way. A patron who owned more than a dozen of his works lost them all in a fire.

“My first thought was that I’m just going to recreate the 13 paintings that burned down in his house.”

She got to work this week.

“I started yesterday. There’s a painting I did called Grace and Flowers, it’s from her garden. Which no longer exists,” Martin said.

In the gallery, people talked about fire, art and the city and felt good to be together. Russell’s idea had worked. They were out.

“They want those kinds of flourishes back in their lives that art brings to everyone,” Carlson said.

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