PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After visiting one of the many homes destroyed in the Echo Mountain Fire, Lincoln City artist Kelly Howard and several of her artist friends took on a labor intensive piece using ashes from the fire.
Those ashes became a glass-blown phoenix — emerging as something new from something that has been destroyed.
“They’re artists and they had this idea to do a memorial piece with ashes from their properties and she invited me to come back up as they went on property for first time and gather some ashes and make it into a phoenix,” Howard told KOIN 6 News.
This piece will go up for auction along with other items to benefit those who lost their homes and livelihoods.
The devastating situation caused by the wildfires has had one positive effect, she said.
“One of the things I saw during the fire was all kinds of people coming together. And that was something I felt was really uplifting and gave us some hope because things have been so polarized and divisive between different groups of people.”
Kelly Howard was already making glass discs containing ash from loved ones. She said the phoenix is the perfect symbol for a better future for the hundreds of people who lost everything.
“I think it brings people some kind of hope for the memory of what happened,” she said, “that they’ll rise again.”