When Peter Haubrich’s wife, Thea, died in September of 2013 following a series of strokes that began the previous year, Peter wanted to make certain that her goal of teaching others a special art form would continue.
The Haubrichs lived in Germany before they arrived in Canada about 10 years ago.
“In Germany, Thea did some training in a special art form called encaustic art,” said Peter. “When we moved to Canada it was her mission in life to teach people the art of painting with wax.”
The ancient art involves using a technique where wax is melted onto a canvas in layers to create the finished product.
“It’s a technique that is not very well known in Canada but I think Thea was able to get a lot of people excited,” explained Peter. “It’s easy to learn so you very quickly have a success so after one lesson you can do something and show it to your friends, especially for the older demographic; it’s very exciting for them to see that they can do something.”
Thea began holding workshops and the couple opened an art gallery in Okanagan Falls the year before she died. Peter said she had almost a full recovery after her first stroke and the couple was optimistic she’d be able to continue however she then suffered a second, third and fourth stroke.
“The last year was quite tough for her but she still managed to do some work and paintings,” he said, noting she was very proud of her work with a project titled, RipOff Artists which takes a group of artists working in various styles who gather yearly to do their interpretation of a masterpiece created by a famous artist.
“She was very instrumental for that group,” said Peter, who worked with the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan-Similkameen to create the Thea Haubrich Legacy Fund to honour his wife’s artistic abilities and dedication to her craft.
“The reason for the legacy fund was to continue the things Thea started in the art community and to continue giving students who are financially unable to pay, to get training in encaustic art,” he said.
Peter said he wanted to create some type of fund and then his lawyer suggested setting up a fund in Thea’s name through the Community Foundation. He’d heard of the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan-Similkameen and learned more about how it operates through conversations with its Executive Director, Aaron McRann.
Being able to make regular contributions to the fund which becomes part of a large investment pool that allows it to grow over time was what initially drew Peter to working with the Community Foundation.
“The other reason is that they (Community Foundation) are doing quite well in management,” he said. “The group that does the investments is very successful so that means also that the fund will grow.”
Anyone wishing to see samples of Thea’s art can visit www.theahaubrich.com.
If you would like to honour Thea’s memory you are encouraged to make a donation to her Legacy Fund.