The recent disasters in Japan have touched all of us; As humans we can only feel an overwhelming feeling of sympathy and heartbreak for all the people who have lost loved ones, homes, livelihoods...everything they had and knew. Yet, as a single being on the other side of the world there's also a sense of helplessness about what we can really do to make a difference. But, I think every little bit counts, and I've been inspired by some friends who have responded by using their talents to create art for sale and offering up the proceeds to relief efforts.
Manjari Sharma—a dear friend and amazing photographer—just created a gorgeous limited edition print entitiled "Hope" that was sold through Wall Space Gallery and benefited 2 charities aiding the Japanese in need. Tara Jacoby—a friend and super talented emerging illustrator—created a really beautiful piece that she's selling prints of and donating all proceeds to the Red Cross. So, when I saw the call for entries for Art Love Japan, I was super excited to have my own chance to create something for the cause.
Art Love Japan is a charity art show/event at In Rivers Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. Anyone can participate by sending in a small 5"x8" work of art inspired by the theme of love, hope and happiness. All original works will be sold for $20 and buyers will have the choice of 3 charities to donate the proceeds to.
The exhibit opens Friday April 8 and will only show for 3 days at In Rivers Art Gallery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Full details about the project and exhibit can be found on the website or facebook page.
Every April, my street becomes a beautiful promenade of pink petals and the air becomes filled with a sweet, delicious smell as the Japanese cherry trees lining the perimeter of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden begin to blossom. I love this time and these trees, and so I felt inspired to use such a beautiful cultural symbol to convey my sense of love and hope for Japan in my piece. As I was researching, I learned exactly what the cherry blossoms symbolize to the Japanese people: The fragility and ephemeral nature of life. That fragility has been exemplified in Japan more than ever over this last month—so it seemed the perfect subject matter to base an image off of. Here's the piece I created and am donating to the exhibit:
I really enjoyed creating this. There wasn't much time from the call for submissions to deadline for this project, so I tried to keep it simple and experimented a bit with style and medium. I found a cool paper laying around my studio—almost like an oak tag stock—and used ink and water color & liquid acrylic washes to just add minimal color. It was a fun, fresh way for me to work a bit differently from both my heavily textured paintings and my flat, digital art.
I'll be at the exhibit next Friday—if you are in the NYC area come check it out, buy some affordable art—and support a great cause!