FRESNO, California (KGPE) — A Fresno native is using her artistic talent to help keep memories after the Creek fire cut its path of fiery destruction.
Kylee Conriquez has a degree in forestry and natural resources. She was working for the Forest Service in the Sierra National Forest immediately before the Creek Fire started.
“I would have been on the fire helping,” said Conriquez.
Eventually, she left working in the forest to follow her passion of becoming an artist and attending school at Humboldt State University, Kylee wanted to help in some way.
“Art can tell a story.”
She uses photos of homes provided by fire victims as the raw material to fuel her artwork with hopes to give something tangible to residents who’ve lost everything and the strength to fight on.
“It’s been a while since the Valley has been hit this hard,” said Dana Oleksa Charles, a Central Valley resident who was gifted a Creek fire Drawing.
Oleksa Charles heard what Kylee was doing, contacted her, and gave her drawing to an acquaintance who lost their home in the Creek fire.
“To see something as beautiful as what Kylee is doing and know that it might offer some comfort to somebody it just kind of was sort of a knee-jerk reaction.”
Proving it takes more than a force of nature to crush the spirit of Creek fire survivors.
“Everyone is dropping what they’re doing and helping. It’s really impressive to me and it just really touches my heart and this is one of the reasons why I feel like I could do something to give back as well,” said Conriquez.
Kylee’s art professor, Gina Tuzzi at Humboldt State University called her efforts inspirational.
“I think that it’s inspiring more people around her than she’s probably aware of, myself included. She is contributing something really positive and beautiful to people who are having their lives flipped completely upside down.”
For more information go to Kylee’s website.