Survivors Create Artwork from Butte Fire Rubble

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Nearly a year after the Butte Fire swallowed tens of thousands of acres in Calaveras and Amador counties, victims are still dealing with the tragedy.

One way of coping is with art. A display of art from survivors and those affected was revealed at the Calaveras County Arts Council gallery Sunday.

About 30 creations are on display, including Gayle Lorraine's. Just 10 days after the fire took her home, she took to a canvas.

"You're in such a shock afterwards that any resemblance of normalcy really helps," said Lorraine.

Scattered across the gallery is the aftermath of the fire from blackened forks to broken statues, but a mangled mess to some is a creative outlet for others.

Carolann McDaniel made a piece using twine left behind on properties and other charred remains,

"To me it means there is hope, people are rebuilding, things are happening again, things are getting more positive," she said.

The arts council said the display may be difficult for many to see because it's a reminder of what was, but Mary Jane Genochio with the council said the goal is to find a way to move forward while honoring the past.

The exhibit will be at the gallery for a month leading up to the September reveal of a mosaic wall in Mountain Ranch in remembrance of the fire. The mosaic titled "Pieces" will be revealed around the one year anniversary of the Butte Fire.

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