ARTISTS Against Hunger Exhibition May 2-5, 2013, at the Da Vinci Art Alliance, 704 Catharine Street in South Philadelphia featured art from artists from all over the city, juried by Moe Brooker, Artist and Chairman of the Mayor’s Commission of the Arts. Many different styles and media were represented. All the work is fine art and for sale. Proceeds benefit The Food Trust. Let art nourish your soul to fed our children. The Food Trust works to improve access to healthy, affordable food and to educate children and families about nutrition. For more information, www.thefoodtrust.org - press release.
Susan DiPronio and Linda Dubin Garfield organized this excellent juried art show and fund-raising benefit at Da Vinci Art Alliance in South Philadelphia. DoN met with Susan DiPronio at the gallery to talk about the impetus behind the art show.
“There were sixty-four entries and thitry-six were chosen by Moe Brooker. He’s very famous. He donated a painting for us to sell and 100% goes to The Food Trust.”
“The Food Trust of Philadelphia donates to other food programs like The Night Market, the Farmer’s Market, the child nutrition programs in North Philly. They did the Corner Store program in North and South Philly and disadvantaged areas where they go in and try to get corner stores to sell healthy food.
So, we’re hoping that the money from this project, we also did this last year, we’re just trying build it more. We’re hoping it will go to child nutrition programs.”
When local artists Linda Dubin Garfield and Susan DiPronio read that in parts of Philadelphia over 50% of the children go to bed hungry, they knew they had to do something. They decided to create change the only way they could- through art. They chose The Food Trust which helps bring nourishment and education to the neighborhoods in question. They created ARTISTS Against Hunger Project and planned several events such as the Pre- Fringe birthday party for Linda in May, 2012 which raised over $700 in lieu of gifts. Next, they created a “Yummy Rainbow” mural banner as part of Robert Farid Karimi’s Cooking Show: The Diabetes of Democracy at the Asian Arts Initiative with pre-schoolers from a Head Start class in South Philadelphia also in May, 2012. They participated in the 2012 Fringe Festival doing mixed media memoir workshops focusing on What Nurtures Us and Food Deserts in September, 2012. – smart business consulting press release.
“Linda and I have a long history of collaborating together. We do writing workshops, we’ve been doing that for about seven years now. We were recipients of a Leeway Grant a few years ago and we do writing workshops with Endow A Home, Covenant House, etc. We decided to do something a little bit more, um, it’s disturbing to us when you’re in a homeless shelter or whatever, you see that, I worked twenty-five years in North Philadelphia and Camden, and it’s disturbing to see how many children don’t eat apparently anything. Did you see the painting in the back?”
Susan DiPronio pointed out a painting done from a photograph which was in a local newspaper in 2009 of a young child. The mat under the glass has a layer of Cheerios.
“The artist saw it and was totally moved by it. It’s a painting of a little girl who is diagnosed with ‘failure to thrive’, she was subsisting on Cheerios and hot dogs. And that’s pretty much the basis, the gist, of what we’re getting at. It’s something that you see children running down the street and you see them with a crumpled dollar in their hand to a convenience store. And they buy a cookie and a soda and you don’t really realize that’s their dinner.
And it’s not that their parents aren’t working, maybe their parents are working two jobs and each job doesn’t even pay enough to feed a family. People complain about wait-persons in restaurants not being so good, well, the wait-person is probably working two jobs. People can work two jobs right now and still qualify for Food Stamps. That’s sad.”
In writing DoNArTNeWs, DoN is aware of the difficult issues artists are tackling: hunger, homelessness, diseases. Artist’s like Kathryn Pannepacker teaching the homeless how to weave, Art Ability at Bryn Mawr Rehab creates big time art opportunities, Attic Graffix teaches at-risk youth production skills, Moss Rehab’s annual art show, The William Way Gay Community Center Annual Community Art Show all provide opportunities for art to make social impact.
“I think that when people are in a safe space, they’re living their lives day-to-day, and working and going home, they’re kind of in a sense of denial. As we get to more and more when people are home they’re so into their cell phone or the computer, and I think it getting worse. People are denying what they’re seeing. They think,’Yeah, we know about the homeless. But, they’re getting taken care of. Oh yeah, but these people make too much money’.
They don’t realize that a big part of the problem is the working poor. The people who are working every day and this is happening. And these children go to school and they can’t absorb or learn anything. And so it creates a cycle that will never end.”
So, why are artists taking on this challenge? Talk about a disadvantaged group, they don’t call us starving artists for nothing.
“I know! We are starving artists. I’ve been unemployed, too. And we are starving artists, that’s true but I think for me, and for other people, as an artist, you realize that one of the reasons why you create art is because it’s a way that helps you. Because you understand yourself. You realize the curing powers of art and how important it’s been to you in your life. That passion. And you realize it’s something you need – to give back” - Susan DiPronio
The exhibit was organized by smART business consulting which offers business solutions for artists to reach their goals and their audience through individual consulting and coaching, small support groups and seminars as well as providing venues to exhibit art to the public both virtually online (web design and social media) and in reality (exhibitions in galleries and other public venues.)
The art show was just three days but some wonderful artworks are still for sale, contact smARTbusinessconsulting@verizon.net The current exhibit is a solo art show by Linda Dubin Garfield through May 26th, 2013. Read about her one-person show, Hear My Color, at DoNArTNeWs.com
Like Artists Against Hunger on facebook.
Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.
Like DoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog on facebook
Follow the new DoNArTNeWs.com
Follow DoN on Twitter @DoNNieBeat58
DoNArTNeWS on Tumblr
@donniebeat on Instagram