As an artist, I’ve been asked to give to charity… a lot. Only a few that I’ve worked with have engaged with the artist, asked for feedback or gone further than a simple – “Thank you… now when can I have your work?”
Working with charities and fielding questions from other artists who want to give, but are often disenchanted with the process, has led me to begin working on a field guide called, Artists Guide To Giving. I’m packing it with information, resources, case studies and lots more and hope I to finish it within the next month or two.
OPEN CALL: I am including a few artists who have experience in working with charities. If you are a professional artist, have worked or donated to a charity at least three times and would like to be a part of this guide, please comment or email me at creativetempoblog (at) gmail (dot) com.
Here is a work I did last year for the BlogHer conference in New York. The piece commissioned corresponded to a speaker and winner of an award at the event, then a print on glass auctioned off for charity. This was one of the unique events where I was able to keep the original work.
I’ve released the original today and posted it in my shop. Here is a look and brief statement about the piece:
About the painting
The theme for this painting was about a writer’s experience of immigration from India and Pakistan to becoming an American citizen and the emotions swirling around that journey.
At first I visualized a more abstract expression of the emotions – joy and sadness, loss and gain – like a traveler filled with all the memories and experiences of a place who then moves on, leaving it all behind – at the same time excited and hopeful for the journey and new experiences ahead. These memories and emotions are never truly left or lost, simply stored or placed in another area of our thoughts while engaging in a new active set of experiences – creating new memories.
Then, the image of a peacock kept leaping up during my research for the piece and became a strong icon to unify all of these ideas. To represent protection, for the middle east, steeped in ancient meaning and symbolism I chose it as a metaphor for these cultures and memories of the place. Then I added mehndi henna designs in relief form, also used widely in these cultures, to illustrate emotions etched on hearts, lines that may fade, but will truly never be erased.
The peacock in western culture also embraces the spirit of beauty and protection, although in a freer less rigid form. Expressing the freedom of America and culminate into the cultures it embraces – welcoming and allowing the blending of voices and beliefs to shine and display in pure beauty and vibrancy.
Opening a new door in life can bring a revived expression of freedom – it can also breathe fresh life into existing beliefs and emotions – once bound by confines of history. The crossing of one place to another, one experience and entering another. That’s the grace that America allows – you don’t have to forgo one set of emotions for another – it is not always necessary to close one door to open another. America embraces varied cultural beliefs and symbols, loves and lives to become one, to unite the treasure that each of us brings to this country allowing it all to shine as a new vision. To cherish what we were born into and at the same time love what we are becoming.
- I’d love to hear your comments about The Crossing. The painting, the statement, whatever. Is it naïve? Does it strike a chord? Hogwash?
- Also, don’t forget to email me for possible inclusion in my charity guide – Artist’s Guide to Giving