Art is said to heal, inspire, and sometimes stir up deep emotions of love and pride. And in the case of Tim Collom and the thousands who have decided to join in his effort, it has also served as a way to help.
Originally from the Bay Area, Collom is a gallery artist in Sacramento who started a grassroots campaign to raise money for Camp Fire victims through his popular 2017 painting he calls "California." Selling for $40 a piece, within days, prints of his painting have raised upwards of $100K with all of the proceeds going straight to supporting firefighters and victims of the Camp Fire.
On Nov. 12, four days after the fire broke out in Paradise, Collom took to social media and wrote of how both moved and frustrated he felt as he helplessly watched the horrific images of the disaster, and he recounted a story he saw on the news about a lost dog that was found suffering with burns. "A firefighter was being interviewed and broke down on camera while consoling this dog. Just one of a thousand heartbreaking stories," the artist wrote. "This is our state and right now there are so many people fighting for its survival. Firefighters sacrificing themselves to save homes, animals, and other people." And then Collom called on "anyone that loves California as much as I do" to join in his push to raise as much money as possible to help those affected by the devastation. He invited people to help get the word out through social media.
That call has been answered in a way that has far surpassed anything even the artist could have imagined. #calistrong @ktvu2