Artist donates original paintings to Timmins Museum to support Indigenous women

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When Molly McTiernan, Development and Marketing Coordinator at the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition, saw Johanne Lamarche’s art, she was inspired.

“It’s very deep. When you look at it, it’s abstract and it’s not just something typical that you see every day,” McTiernan said.

McTiernan met Lamarche who was in town this fall to visit family.

“She was very moved by the work and I was very moved by her interest in creating the work,” Lamarche said. I told him, I’ll leave this job to you, I think it belongs in Timmins. I would like to do something good with this work and I would like to find a charity that I could donate to that could have a connection with Aboriginal people.

When Lamarche was growing up in Timmins, she said she was aware that Indigenous people faced problems and realized the seriousness of those when she heard about the residential school burial grounds.

“You feel really helpless when news like the horrific discoveries of residential schools was made and I thought art can heal,” Lamarche said.

Each painting costs one hundred and fifty dollars and every cent will be donated to women in crisis in Timmins and area. Center officials said donations help cover costs that government funding will not cover.

“For example, if a woman has to go out of province and she tries to go back to her home province, say Alberta, victim services can only pay in province, so when she gets to Thunder Bay , there is no money to get her out of this province. so that we can help provide that additional support,” explained Julie Nobert-DeMarchi, Executive Director of Timmins and Area Women in Crisis.

Lamarche, a retired periodontist, lives in Philadelphia. She said her favorite medium is ancient, adding beeswax to oil.

The original works she donated to the museum are matted, signed by Lamarche and ready to be framed.

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