A high school student in Fredericton is using art to overcome personal challenges, including a bullying incident that went viral on social media in February.
Nelly Price, 15, has always loved painting and is using her artwork to inspire others and is donating proceeds of her paintings to an organization that provides support to victims of child abuse.
Price said she enjoyed painting as a child and is now finding ways to put more meaning behind her art.
“There’s days where I don’t want to paint, but once I start, I get into it [and] it makes me happy cause I see what I can do and how much progress I can have made,” Price said.
She has painted several things since the bullying incident and said a painting she did of a roaring lion on a bright pink background has the most meaning to her — she painted it two weeks after she was bullied.
“The reason why I chose a lion is because they’re loud and powerful, and the quote that I had planned for it is, ‘I’m the voice for those that fear to speak,” Price said.
The paintings initially started out as a hobby, but Price said she’s progressed quite a bit and wants to continue with her art. She said her mom posted a photo of one of her earlier paintings on social media and got a great response, with people offering to buy the art.
“It makes me feel good to know that I’m helping someone else that may be going through a difficult time,” Price said.
B.A.C.A. Moncton chapter president and Atlantic Canada biker liaison “Pappy” said it’s great to have Price’s support.
“As an organization we really appreciate that the public is becoming aware of our presence in the communities and the work that we do with abused children and for Nelly, for example, the fact that she is aware of B.A.C.A. through family members and school chums and things like that, and she is willing to use her artwork to support us, is highly appreciated,” Pappy said.
He said it’s great to see Price take the experiences she’s had and turn them into something positive.
Pappy said the organization is completely volunteer-run and said 100 per cent of the funds raised for the organization go to support children who have been abused. He said if a child is adopted by the chapter or organization, they provide the child with support items like a teddy bear to show love and strength and said everybody in the chapter will hug the bear.
“If the child ever feels a little weak or not loved as much, we’ll come back and re-hug the bear,” Pappy said. “There’s blankets, there’s school supplies, we can pay for counselling [and] different types of therapy that are deemed beneficial to the child, so this is what we raise our money for.”
“We do good work with the community,” Pappy said. “Yes we leverage the ‘biker image’ to empower the kids, so that people know that we are a child-friendly support group is really appreciated, and it’s great that you have people like Nelly that want to stand up for us.”
Fredericton chapter sergeant-at-arms “Prairie Dog” said Price in “inspiring”.
“When you can take a young boy or young girl… and she’s had something traumatic happen and a bad time in her life and she can actually take it and do artwork and focus all her energy and her emotions on the art to try and bring it out in public and I actually think I’ve heard her say before ‘it’s okay not to be okay,” so if you kind of focus it on the art it’s a pretty cool thing,” Prairie Dog said.
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