Faces of Love, Portraits from Our Place by Elfrida Schragen

Faces of Love – Portraits from Our Place by Elfrida Schragen.

When artist Elfrida Schragen was approached about a month-long artist-in-residency program at a local resort, she immediately knew what – and who – she wanted to paint.

In 2007, Schragen painted a series of portraits featuring people from all walks of life who used the services of Our Place, an inner-city community centre for the most vulnerable of Greater Victoria. When she completed the project, the paintings were auctioned off – but with a twist. Buyers had the choice of keeping the painting they bought or donating it back to Our Place to be placed on display.

Eighteen of the portraits currently hold a place of pride in Our Place’s five-storey facility on Pandora Avenue.


“It’s been seven years,” says Schragen, “and I enjoyed it so much the first time that I was itching to do it again.”

Over the last several weeks, Schragen has been visiting with Our Place family members, taking photos and getting to know each individual’s story.

“I want to capture not just how each person looks physically, but also capture what makes them unique,” says Schragen. “Their challenges and their joys all form part of the whole.”

For her month-long residency at Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa, Schragen will create 12 new portraits.

“Our family members are excited by the project,” says Don Evans, executive director of Our Place. “They see the portraits lining the walls of our dining room, and can tell that Elfrida has captured something special in each and every portrait.”

There will be a special Faces of Love art sale and cocktail reception at the end of the month. If you would like to attend, please call Laura Walsh at 250-388-7112.

Our Place is a unique community centre serving Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable: working poor, impoverished elderly, individuals with mental health and physical challenges, and the homeless. It provides 45 transitional housing units, over 1,200 meals per day, hot showers, free clothing, counseling and outreach services. Most importantly, it provides a sense of hope and belonging to our neighbours in need.


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