Local artist raises over $1,000 for Napanee Kitten Rescue thanks to pandemic

Painting by Lisa Koenig of Groovy Cats.

Living through pandemic can have a silver lining. For budding artist Lisa Koenig, the extra time at home has allowed her to pursue her creativity while raising money for a worthy cause.

“Having more time on my hands, not needing or having to go anywhere, and working from home has been great, as it has allowed me time to paint,” Keonig said. “Raising money for Napanee Community Kitten Rescue through my painting was an easy, fun way to pay it forward.”

Koenig says she’s not new to painting, but had let her hobby lapse as life got busy. Currently a Registered Reflexologist and an Ayurvedic Indie Head Masseuse – on hold since the pandemic began – and an Ambassador and Sales Manager for the Gibbard District Riverside Residences in Napanee, she says her passion was reignited after taking a couple of art classes at the at the Gibbard District given by Napanee artists Gary Barnett and Joanne Kells Chalmers.

“I started collecting paint, brushes, and canvases, and just let the creativity happen,” Koenig shared with Kingstonist. “With information overload, along with so many unknowns during these times, I was able to immerse myself in developing my artistic side.”

Back in September, Sondra Elliott, owner of Pet Panache in downtown Napanee, approached Koenig with the idea of holding some sort of art show fundraiser. “There was no question who to raise funds for,” Koenig said. “Napanee Community Kitten Rescue was an obvious choice, as the inspiration for my art are my cats.”

Koenig is more well-known to many in the Kingston area than they may think — She was a radio personality under the name Lisa Ray at a variety of radio stations in the area prior to retiring from the career.

Launching Groovy Cats, art with a mid-century vibe, has allowed Koenig to raise $1,100 for the kitten rescue. Contributions of artwork from local Rivers Edge Art District artists Lynn Barnett and Joanne Kells Chalmers were also part of the fundraiser, and contributed to the total.

“I had three cats, however my eldest cat, Oscar, passed away at the age of 18 (he’s the longest relationship I’ve had!). I chose to do this fundraiser in his honour,” she said. “The idea was to donate 50 per cent of the sales from our artwork that was on display for sale at Pet Panache in downtown Napanee, but I decided to donate 100 per cent of sales from my Groovy Cats paintings to the fundraiser.”

Keonig says the donation has been put toward the purchase of a nebulizer for cats who develop lung diseases, such as pneumonia and asthma. Nebulizers aerosolize medicines into a fine mist, allowing some medicines to be inhaled, instead of taken orally.

“Napanee Community Kitten Rescue is truly an inspiring charity,” she continued, “They are dedicated to assisting our community with awareness, educationand resources for the care, rehabilitation and adoption of community kittens — feral, homeless, or stray.”

Learn more about Napanee Kitten Rescue here, and visit Groovy Cats on Facebook to see what Koenig is working on. Some of her painting are on display at Ellena’s Cafe in Napanee.

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