Kathy Michaels                                Kelowna artist Laurie Koss’s Flower Series has been turned into prints so Koss can raise money for colorectal cancer research. Gillian’s Flower is in honour of Koss’ friend Gillian, who is battling the disease. There are cards, which are $5 and prints that are $125 that can be found at Hambleton Galleries on Ellis.

Kathy Michaels Kelowna artist Laurie Koss’s Flower Series has been turned into prints so Koss can raise money for colorectal cancer research. Gillian’s Flower is in honour of Koss’ friend Gillian, who is battling the disease. There are cards, which are $5 and prints that are $125 that can be found at Hambleton Galleries on Ellis.

Kelowna artist creates fundraiser for a friend

Artist Laurie Koss was inspired by her friend’s cancer battle to help her keep fighting

Kelowna artist Laurie Koss’s Flower Series gained praise for its unique insight into the way form, light and movement redefine what it means for an image to be beautiful.

Now with her latest endeavour, Gillians’s Flower, Koss wants to increase the reach of her art and use it to help save lives. The effort started three years ago, said Koss.

“Canada Post Commissioned me to do two pansy stamps in Feb. 2015,” said Koss Thursday at the launch of the Gillian’s Flower series at Hambleton Galleries.

“They came out and a year later I realized I had all these extra pansy photos and I had to paint the remaining 22 pansies.”

In May 2017 she had a solo show that was called Pansies. During that time she was also working with her close friend Gillian on a photography project. Gillian was dealing with Stage 4 terminal colon cancer, but she was still going to the studio with Koss every week.

On one occasion, she was looking at the pansy paintings and Koss asked her which was her favourite.

“She looked around and chose Pansy 17, and I said ‘from now on that pansy is known as Gillian’s flower,” said Koss, noting it was an emotional moment.

Life went on and Gillian’s condition worsened, which weighed heavily on Koss. It all reached a peak around six weeks before Christmas when the two were chatting.

“She said ‘I have nothing to look forward to,’” said Koss, adding that Gillian wasn’t feeling sorry for herself. She was simply offering a statement of fact, given that her cancer was progressing and the pain and symptoms were accelerating.

“I thought back to a quote and it was, ‘whoever said we need wealth and fame to be happy, when all we need is something to look forward to?’” said Koss. “So I wanted to have something for Gillian to look forward to.”

So Koss decided to make Gillian’s Flower a print that would raise funds for colorectal cancer research. There are cards, which are $5 or 10 for $45, as well as prints that are $125. They can be found at Hambleton Galleries on Ellis.

She and Gillian also want the cards to offer incentive for people to get screened. There are 22,000 cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed each year and only 11,000 of those diagnosed will survive, due to late detection rates.

“If we can convince one person to get screened, then we will have done what we wanted,” she said. “It’s such an easy thing to do…. and fear around that test is such a big thing. If you’re over 50, go to your doctor and get a Fit Test. An ounce of prevention can go a long way.”

To learn more go to www.lauriekoss.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Three Lake Country firefighters scaled Spion Kop in support of their Movember fundraiser. (District of Lake Country photo)
Lake Country firefighters scale Spion Kop for Movember fundraiser

The three firefighters did the arduous 2.63-kilometre climb while breathing bottled air

Quigley Elementary. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: More COVID-19 cases confirmed at Kelowna Schools

Interior Health announced exposures at both Kelowna Secondary and Quigley Elementary on Sunday

Former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Richard Brodeur discussing his paintings with the executive director of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan Kirsteen McCulloch. (Contributed)
Former Canucks goalie King Richard’s art displayed at Kelowna gallery

Richard Brodeur starred in the Vancouver Canucks’ 1982 Stanley Cup run

Real Canadian Superstore in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
Kelowna Superstore employee tests positive for COVID-19

The last day the employee worked was Nov. 23

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP issue warning after woman assaulted while walking in Rutland

On Saturday, the unknown man ran up and grabbed her in an inappropriate manner before fleeing

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A confirmed case of COVID-19 at Vernon’s Silver Star Elementary School has been reported. (Google Maps)
COVID case confirmed at Okanagan elementary school

Member of Silver Star Elementary community in Vernon self-isolating at home; parents alerted Nov. 28

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Steve French caught the halo moon on his camera on Saturday night. (Steve French Facebook)
Did you see the halo moon last night?

The halo is actually millions of tiny ice crystals

Most Read