Calgary artists struggle to rebuild after flood

Calgary artists are still trying to get back to normal after this summer's floods. Many lost their entire body of work.

Many inner-city artists lost entire body of work

Artist Dale Kirschenman talks about the flood damage to his studio. 2:09

Many Calgary artists are still struggling to recover from flood damage to their studios.

A wall of water claimed artist Dale Kirschenman's studio and home. He lost dozens of paintings.

"It's kind of so overwhelming that you have to just handle it in little chunks," says Kirschenman.

He and his team have been working to restore what they can. Some of the art has been salvaged, but many of his paintings are gone forever.

Like Kirschenman, Mark Vazquez-Mackay faced a similar situation. His studio and home were flooded and his entire inventory was a write-off.  Initially, he couldn't bear the loss and was unable to enter his studio after the flood.

"I had some good friends who went in there and helped clean up and get it to a state where I was okay going in and didn't feel like I was going to collapse on the floor."

Two months after the flood, Vazquez-Mackay says he is ready to get back to his art work.

"I can make more and I'm going to make more, so maybe it'll be a bit of motivation for me to sort of hit the grindstone a bit harder."

Many Calgary artists live and work in inner city communities that were hard hit by the floods. A number of them are restoring their art in donated space in a former school.

Artist Dale Kirschenman is holding a sale of his restored art on Sunday, September 15 at the King Edward School in south west Calgary's Marda Loop neighbourhood.