Artists create giant poppy in Sidney to honour, support veterans

The 30-panel poppy is based off a work by Georgia O’Keefe

Odette Laroche and her students painted this image inspired by the work of Georgia O’Keefe. (Courtesy Odette Laroche)

Odette Laroche and her students painted this image inspired by the work of Georgia O’Keefe. (Courtesy Odette Laroche)

A 30-canvass poppy fills the wall of a Sidney gallery.

The work, inspired by a Georgia O’Keefe work, was painted by Odette Laroche and her students, most taking their tutelage at home due to the pandemic.

The time spent is a donation of love and honour for veterans, as Laroche hopes to find a buyer and donate to a veterans-related cause.

“I was very touched by the veteran that is 101 years old who walked with his walker around his residence in Oak Bay to raise money for the fellow veterans,” Laroche said. “One of my students, both parents are veterans, so it rang a bell with her. She was right on it.”

RELATED: 101-year-old Oak Bay resident doing 101 laps for charity

She designed the project, selected images of paintings from masters – such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Cezanne – and matched them up with the squares crafted from the O’Keefe poppy. Students were assigned squares to fill in their own style, but with lines that matched the O’Keefe.

The 30 tiles come together to form a six-foot-by-eight-foot artwork.

“You could stand and look at it for a long, long time,” Laroche said.

Ideally, she’d like to support veterans experiencing homelessness. Learn more about the studio and find contact information at odettelarocheart.com.

vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca