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'Art brings a lot of joy': Edmontonians create shows of support for fallen officers

Ashley Rosenow was inspired to create a piece of art after hearing that two EPS officers had been killed, and she's auctioning it off in support of their families. (Miriam Valdes-Carletti/CTV News Edmonton) Ashley Rosenow was inspired to create a piece of art after hearing that two EPS officers had been killed, and she's auctioning it off in support of their families. (Miriam Valdes-Carletti/CTV News Edmonton)
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Ashley Rosenow knows how difficult it is to be a police officer because she used to be one.

Now, she is one of many Edmontonians creating shows of support for fallen Constables Brett Ryan and Travis Jordan, their families and their fellow officers.

When she heard what happened, Rosenow said she was inspired to put her feelings into a piece of art.

"I felt like I wanted to get my thoughts and ideas on to a painting," she said. "It was more so for that art therapy, to get that out there.

"But I did have somebody say to me once, "You never know who may need to see this piece of art."

Taking four days to paint, the piece shows two hands – one from each officer – intertwined around a blue heart. Knowing that it would resonate with so many people, Rosenow decided to make it public.

"I honestly think that art brings a lot of joy and a lot of hope for a lot of people," she said. "I felt like this was a great opportunity to raise funds for the families, while also being able to get the artwork out there for people that might need it."

The painting will be auctioned off and 100 per cent of the money donated. As of Friday afternoon, the highest bid was around $1,600.

"The reaction has been incredible. Tons of people have been sharing the artwork," Rosenow said. "We're hoping that it will just kind of keep going up."

Bids can be made on Rosenow's Facebook Page.

The auction closes on Wednesday. Rosenow said prints of the piece will be available for sale after that.

'WE'RE GOING TO MAKE SOMEBODY HAPPY'

Friday at Brightview Elementary School in west Edmonton, students and staff donned blue shirts and crafted hand-made cards for EPS officers.

"There's going to be a lot of people that are going to be happy from having so many cards," said Grade 4 student Skylar Jones.

Jones said she filled her card with a list of the things she's grateful that police officers do and she thanked them for keeping the city safe.

"And for their bravery, sacrifice and service," she added.

A Brightview teacher said the children understand what happened and they were excited to put on their blue shirts and show officers their appreciation.

"They're very empathetic," Elliot Burg said. "They're able to understand a little bit of the gravity of what's going on and they understand the sacrifice that EPS makes for the community in order to keep it safe."

"They rescue us when we need it, or sometimes if you see somebody getting robbed or a store getting robbed, you can always call the police and they'll be there in a couple minutes," said nine-year-old Alex Deitz. "They risk their lives every day just to try to keep Edmonton and everyone else safe."

On Friday, students at Brightview Elementary School made thank-you cards for EPS officers. (Miriam Valdes-Carletti/CTV News Edmonton)

#EPSSTRONG

A local print shop is also using their craft to raise money and show solidarity with EPS.

Print Machine in south Edmonton is reprinting their #EPSSTRONG t-shirts, with proceeds going to the Edmonton Police Foundation.

"It's a very sad situation, I'm a dad myself [with] a young family," said owner Jonny Jacques. "Our hearts just go out to the families and the people that were affected by such a sad happening."

The shirts were first printed in 2015 after Const. Daniel Woodall was shot and killed.

"We've always had a heart for this community," Jacques said. "So when something like this happens, to be able to help out and support, especially families that are hurting, is huge for us."

Shirts can be ordered online at epsstrong.printmachine.ca, and cost $25.

Friday evening, almost $5,000 had been raised so far.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Miriam Valdes-Carletti 

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