BOULDER, Colo. — Every work of art creates a sense of meaning and purpose for its creator.
For Lael Har, one of her latest pieces came with a great deal of responsibility: Painting an enormous canvas that would sit at the front of the Table Mesa King Soopers.
“This is my neighborhood, so it was important for me to contribute to my community, to the healing process, and an opportunity that I had to work through my grief and bring healing through that process and hopefully gift my community with that,” Har said.
Har was out of town when the shooting took place, but she still felt the shock.
“My kids walk to the store, and we shop there all the time, weekly, and that it could have been us,” Har said.
In just three months, Har created the artwork for the newly opened King Soopers in her Boulder studio.
“I had to divide it into four so I could get it out the front door," Har said. "I had to use a ladder to reach the very top and paint the mountain and the clouds."
Although it sits inside a location with a painful history, its nod to nature brings the warmth and joy of the outdoors inside.
“I've gotten a lot of feedback, a lot of gratitude that this is heart opening, that coming into the store and saying this is, again, uplifting for people,” Har said. “Art has the power for healing, I think, and bringing beauty and bringing soothing and when people see it there, they feel welcomed."
What was one of her most challenging creations will now catch the eyes of the thousands who enter for years to come.
“Once I finish a painting and it's hanging and it's appreciated, it's no longer my painting. It's now appreciated and part of the community, so it, hopefully, continues to gift the community for what it's meant,” Har said.
Har is also running a fundraiser and says 100% of the sales of her prints will go to charities helping Ukraine's humanitarian crisis.