Katharine Gould’s paintings displayed at St. Paul’s Commons include “Running for the River” (left) and “Longing for Destinations Far Away.”

“Crossings,” an April 15 fundraising and “friendraising” event at St. Paul’s Commons for IRIS featured pastel and watercolor paintings by Santa Monica-based artist Katharine Gould. The paintings, inspired by Covid restrictions and the plight of immigrants and refugees, depict scenes of sea, land and sky and the perils of moving across them.

Bishop John Harvey Taylor and IRIS’s executive director, Troy Elder, greeted those in attendance and invited them to become friends of IRIS and supporters of its work with immigrants and refugees. Members of the IRIS staff read letters and poems written by refugees they have assisted. Tatevik Sahakyan, a dancer and choreographer from Armenia’s National Dance Academy, performed a traditional dance, and Brian Sonia-Wallace, poet laureate of West Hollywood, guided attendees as they created their own poems.

Sales of the paintings and proceeds from the event will benefit IRIS (Interfaith Refugee & Immigration Service, a ministry of the Diocese of Los Angeles). The paintings may be viewed at St. Paul’s Commons (in the Great Hall) until June 20, World Refugee Day; call 213.482.2040 to inquire about available hours. To learn more about the artworks, or to purchase a painting, click here. A price list is here.

Artist Katharine Gould describes how the isolation of Covid lockdown and the plight of refugees inspired her pastel paintings.

Tatevik Sahakyan, a dancer and choreographer from Armenia’s National Dance Academy, performs at the IRIS event.

Bishop John Harvey Taylor greets attendees at the April 15 reception, inviting them to support the work of IRIS.

The Rev. Fred Fenton, retired rector of St. Augustine’s Church, Santa Monica, and the Rev. Canon Patricia O’Reilly, vicar of St. George’s Church, Hawthorne, compare notes at the IRIS event.

Brian Sonia-Wallace (right), poet laureate of West Hollywood, helps participants write their own poems.

Klaire of the IRIS staff helps participants learn more about the agency’s work with refugees and immigrants.