Frequently, I’m asked often to donate or exhibit my art to support many causes. Over the years, the requests have been traditional to strange. One “organization” requested a 5×7 foot painting and the thank you from the “committee” would be a bottle of Jack Daniels. Another wealthy company requested a specific painting for a fundraising auction/gala in which artists were not allowed to attend. When I informed the venue that the painting sold, they demanded that it be taken from the owner to sell at their auction. The answer was a polite no and the venue has never contacted me since. As a result, I’ve become very particular when donating or exhibiting my art.
When HANG ART gallery in San Francisco asked me to participate in A Lot of Good exhibit, it was a loud and booming yes! The overall theme is that a portion of the proceeds be donated to a non-profit organization of the artist’s choice. If my art in some way could be an agent or catalyst for positive influence in the community, it would exceed all expectations. As I started to research organizations that “deserve” support, many notable and outstanding ones came to mind. Therefore, it was a challenge to narrow the selection.
After much deliberation, Students Rising Above touched my heart personally because my art studio for many years was located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin and then West Oakland. I saw firsthand how poverty, crime, and adversity produced challenges to wonderful and creative youth. According to their website: “Students Rising Above invests in low-income, first generation college students who have demonstrated a deep commitment to education and strength of character in overcoming tremendous odds of poverty, homelessness, and neglect. We help each student to realize his or her potential by guiding and supporting them through college graduation, and into the workforce. Our graduates are breaking the cycle of poverty within their own families, serving their communities, providing a new generation of employees and leaders from diverse backgrounds, and accelerating positive change. The SRA Community is dedicated to impacting the future through the cultivation of extraordinary youth.”
I grew up in a lower middle class family faced with challenges like alcoholism and job layoffs in a small Midwest college town. Education and setting goals was my ticket to a positive life path with opportunities. As a result, my hope is that art can be part of that change for talented and motivated youth. With proper encouragement and guidance from the Students Rising Above organization, future generations will be able to proudly shine.
A Lot of Good exhibition dates are November1-15th with an artists reception on Thursday November 7th from 6-8:00 pm.