2017-2018 Art Fiddles


A few short years ago our dear friend (and dedicated Board Member), Leslie Gotfrit, dreamed up a fundraising initiative that has since become a favourite with musicians and artists alike.  Old, unplayable violins are donated by violin shops in Calgary and are given new life by local artists who transform them into beautiful pieces of art.  These amazing Art Fiddles are displayed at various events in and around Calgary and are auctioned off each spring at the Calgary Fiddlers annual Sweet on Fiddlin' show.  All funds raised from this initiative go towards developing youth through music.


Larapio (Fiddle) - $650


Inspiration for this piece:  My equine muse is Larapio a noble Lusitano Stallion from Barbier Farms.  I had an opportunity to photograph him playing at Liberty in California. A heart and soul Portuguese horse, the violin is a tribute to him in his elder years.

Taking on this project, I realized the violin carried a special vibration.  It was fun to speak to it in a 2-D language with paint and brush!  With a playful use of light and colour, the movement of the horse was translated onto the violin.  The magic of horses and music merge together. A delightful experience!

Artist Bio:  Williams has a Masters degree in Art Education from the University of British Columbia, Canada, and has been teaching art and photography to high school students and painting for over 30 years.  During that time she continued to refine her artistic skills at the Federation of Canadian Artists, the Vancouver Academy of Art and Sacramento's School of Light and Color.

Williams' work pulses with energy, colour and light.  Her true fascination is the dance between the human and the horse which stands as the inspiration behind the movement and playfulness of each piece.

Her adventures have led her to the wild horses of Sable Island near Nova Scotia, and recently to the wetlands of the Camargue with the semi-feral horses in southern France.  "Through my lens and brush, I paint to show the horse's spirit...so the viewer can glimpse the horse as soul".



Celtic Knot (Fiddle) - $650


Inspiration for this piece:  Calgary part-time artist, Dave Hills (aka Farrellhills) is more at home with pastel drawings, digital art, and photography, but when the Calgary fiddlers handed him a violin, he chose a completely different direction.  “Although I am most comfortable with pastels and paints, I felt carving a design would have the best impact” explains Dave. “The form of the violin is ingrained in our minds, so seeing one altered makes us do a double-take”.  The Celtic Knot motif, cut into the back and sides of the instrument was a natural fit for the elegant curves of the violin, and strengthened the ties between the fiddle and Celtic music. 

Working in this medium posed some challenges. “Here is an instrument that has been cherished for many years, and it is my job to make a piece of art that is worthy of the original craftsmanship” said Dave, adding, “and I’m cutting it up, so no pressure there!"

Artist Bio: 

Dave Hills is a geologist, photographer and illustrator working in Calgary.  Dave has a varied repertoire of subjects, including among others, photography from is old home in London, mural paintings for the walls of children’s clinics, pastel drawings of Alberta landscapes, digital illustrations for oil companies, and a very silly movie about the discovery of an oil field.  He has yet to try oil painting, as he thinks he is still too young.



Spring (1/4 Size Fiddle) - $500


Inspiration for this piece:  When I saw this small, well-loved violin laying in wait on the table among the bigger ones, I knew it would be the perfect match to the young and rambunctious Welsh pony foal who had just been born a week prior.

Children are not yet occupied by an uncertain future, and live very much in the present, just like this foal who is soaking up every ray of sunshine and every passing breeze, never stopping to think about anything other than the nap he is taking. I can imagine the way this violin was played before landing in my hands, clumsily, imperfectly, but without doubt or fear. To be fully present and engaged in the moment is necessary in order to create art that encapsulates the emotion and feeling of the artist, and although it can be difficult for us to do, it comes naturally to the young of all species!

Artist Bio: 

Klervi Dorfsman is an enthusiast of all things equine and an amateur artist. She loves to paint them in various mediums, including oils, pastels and digital art. She is also a hoof care practitioner in the Calgary area, and through this job has learned to become more in tune with horses, which has made her more adept at capturing their expressions.


Home Sweet Home (Fiddle) - $650


Inspiration for this piece:  As children, we all learned the call of Chickadee!  Cheese-bur-ger, Cheese-bur-ger!  But did you know that they have quite particular housing requirements? Chickadee needs a 4 inch x 4 inch nesting box and a 1 1/4 inch hole that is 6-8 inches above the bottom of that nesting box? (I learned a lot doing this project!)

Although this Chickadee House has been coated with an UV Archival varnish, a fiddle was never intended to survive outdoors for long. So it's a good thing that a 1 1/4 inch hole also accommodates loonies and toonies to make this a perfect indoor Piggy Bank as well! 

Enjoy and keep Fiddling! 

Artist Bio: 

Julie has playing with art all her life. Painting has been her release, her balance, for her speaking on Workplace Safety.  For her, there's something magical in the solitude of her studio, a place where shapes dance, colours sing and real life slips away. 

Check out past Fiddle Art!