Given the magnitude of the disaster that struck Japan, people across the world are reaching out to help! Imagekind artist are just a few of those that feel compelled to help. Some of our artists have elected to help in Japan’s recovery by donating some or all of their proceeds to organizations that will aid in the relief. We would like to showcase these artists and their fantastic art:
Humankind loves animalkind! We spend billions of dollars on our pets, donate our time and money to save wildlife, and adopt/rescue animals each day. We love our feathered, scaled, and furry friends! It’s no surprise that many of our artists at Imagekind do good work with local animal and environmental organizations. Here’s just one of those stories – Carla Stein’s story!
Living on Vancouver Island we can easily become immersed in the rich natural heritage that surrounds our comparatively small outposts of human settlement. OK, perhaps, I should re-phrase that. Our formerly small human settlements. As more people move to the Island, there is greater pressure on the natural environment and more contact with our four-footed and sky-born neighbours. These contacts often have a downside for the furred and feathered. That’s why an organization such as the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre is so important in attempting to restore some balance to the human-natural environment equation.
If you aren’t familiar with what they do, take a look at this video.
Unfortunately like so many groups that have been affected by lack of funding, The Recovery Centre is challenged by more need for the services it provides and less cash to carry on the job. So what does art have to do with this dilemma? Being that so many artists gain inspiration from nature, it only seems appropriate to give nature a helping hand when we can! The Nanaimo Art Gallery has organized a fundraiser to help support the Wildlife Recovery Centre.
Artists are donating work that depicts wildlife and their natural environments. Funds raised through a silent auction of donated pieces and the sale of cards featuring the donated images will go to support the work of sustaining wildlife that have been disturbed, displaced, and/or injured through human contact. I gladly donated the acrylic painting, “Safety” I produced last summer. It was inspired by a little fawn left in trust at our front door while his mom grazed a few hundred feet away.
The Art for Wildlife show will run from March 3rd to March 26, 2011. At the opening on March 05th, 2011, staff from the Wildlife Recovery Centre will be at the Gallery from noon to two with one of their resident owls. Take some time to visit the Gallery’s offerings that will allow you experience glimpses of our natural environment in the heart of downtown Nanaimo and help foster greater harmony between the two!
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote “The only gift is a portion of thyself”. At first read, one could argue that Emerson meant giving one’s time and presence to another was the pinnacle of gift-giving. That’s a decent interpretation and it is often the basis of many writers’ ponderings, but Emerson meant for the gift giver to dig a little deeper. He tells us that “a man’s biography is conveyed in his gift” and “Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shepherd, his lamb; the farmer, corn; the miner, a gem; the sailor, coral and shells; the painter, his picture; the girl, a handkerchief of her own sewing”.
Creating art, with a charitable cause in mind, gives artists a unique opportunity to experience Emerson’s sentiment. Ashley Cecil’s story is a fine illustration of this principle and we’d like to share it as part of the Imagekind for Humankind series.
When I launched my art blog in 2006, I decided I was going to focus my painting on illustrative images that told a story about social causes. Still today, when paintings sell I donate part of the proceeds to corresponding charity. This work has led to many wonderful opportunities. One example was being commissioned by Oxfam America to paint a 4′x6′ canvas about the impact of climate change on developing countries.
The painting traveled to Poland in 2008 to a UN convention on climate change. It was an honor to be involved in such a publicized project with international exposure. Over the years, I have also worked with my community groups in disadvantaged urban areas to create public art projects. I love using art in this way to engage people in change and improve quality of life for others.
Way to go, Ashley! I’m sure Emerson would be proud! If you want to support someone’s livelihood, have fantastic art adorning your walls, and help out humankind, check out Ashley’s work and help give a great gift!