I have been a professional artist for 35 years, best known for my distinctive commission portrait work, fine art and host of Artbeat on PBS. I have initiated the The Quench Project to enable me to create a collection of paintings which express hope and renewal, focusing on the people of Haiti; I will be exhibiting these new works to create awareness around the water crisis many are facing in the world right now.
I will take a Vision Trip to Haiti,lasting 7-10 days, as part of the Water Missions International ("WMI") team, where I will assist in the WMI missionary work to process and bring fresh water to areas devastated by famine and water shortages. Transportation to/from Haiti and other expenses (see Frequently Asked Questions for a breakdown of expenses) will be paid for through this successful Kickstarter campaign.
In Haiti I will take photos, make sketches, interview Haitians engaged in surviving under difficult conditions. I will gather this written and photographic reference to create an exhibition of 10-15 paintings for a traveling exhibition called “The Quench Project,” focusing on the impact of WMI’s living water message and world-wide relief efforts. WMI will provide food and lodging in Haiti for the duration of my trip.
The exhibition will be a call to action for the increasing need and awareness for WMI, a Christian-based non-profit organization, who have invented a unique water purification system, dedicated to bringing fresh water to remote areas around the world. Visit http://www.watermissions.org/ for more info on their mission.
The primary intention of the The Quench Project will be to raise awareness of WMI’s mission as well as generate funding for its continued mission there. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of work will go to WMI in the form of another donated work for their permanent collection. "Christelle" (above) is the prototype for The Quench Project and is also a part of WMI's permanent collection. A larger goal for the project will be to raise awareness of the world water crisis related to a growing population, water shutoffs in Detroit, the purity of our water supply (i.e. Lake Erie), a disparity of wealth and the effects of Fracking and global warming are having on our water supply.
While in Haiti, I will also teach basic drawing to kids and adults who might wish to benefit from knowledge and experience in this area, not only as an artist but as an entrepreneur, in keeping with Haitian President Martelly’s desire for finding “opportunities to create wealth.”
My purpose while there is to come away with as full a sense of the experience of the Haitian people and the plight of all people struggling with access to this basic human necessity, this basic human right, and express/respond to that authentically on canvas and in the written word.
I will then take the next 5-6 months to complete 10 to 15 works of art for The Quench Project traveling exhibition. During this period, WMI and I will work in a coordinated effort to establish exhibition opportunities in Charleston and other areas, expressing the WMI living water mission in the most powerful way I know, through my art.
WMI will also provide an exhibition and launch event in their facility for special invited guests.
These exhibitions/receptions/openings/events will be an opportunity to spread the WMI message to new audiences, as well as advance the power of art and creativity to create awareness and build bridges between people.
A full color catalog/booklet will be created with reproductions of the images, along with the story surrounding each story I tell through my paintings, along with my personal responses and impressions of the experience, inspired by the WMI vision. All contributors will receive an inscribed copy of the catalog.
Before the one year exhibition period, which will begin six months after the trip, certain contributors will have receive first choice of original paintings created for the Quench Project Exhibition. The remainder of the exhibition's originals will be priced between $2,500 and $8,000.
That means if you contribute to this Kickstarter campaign at the $1,500 and/or $2,500 level, you will lock in the opportunity to purchase originals for much less than retail! In addition, you will have first pick of the completed collection of between 10 and 15 magnificent original paintings, in the order of your contribution.The first to contribute will have first pick.
Please look for opportunities to assist in this project, either by contributing, sharing or giving me feedback and referrals. There are wonderful opportunities to get something meaningful for your contribution, from the full color catalog to an actual oil on canvas painting.
One of my hopes, if this is campaign is successful, is that our efforts will inspire other artists to align their artistry with social causes. These efforts will exponentially create awareness and enlightenment and bring action and change, which will FUNdamentally alter the evolutionary trajectory of all humanity. Yep, it's a movement and it's that important! I believe artists are the teachers and conscience of society.
Wish me luck!
Risks and challenges
As you know, Kickstarter is an all or nothing proposition. Without seed money from this campaign, the project will not be able to proceed.
Once we reach our target, I will travel to Haiti with WMI, who will support me with food and lodging, along with other WMI mission members, collecting photographic, interviews and background information that will enable me to complete the project. The challenge will be for me will be to collect as much material in a relatively short time to be able to compete the project.
The catalog will range from a full color, basic booklet to a multi-page bound book, depending on how much over budget we raise through this campaign. My assurance is that it will be a beautiful and inspiring document chronicling my experience and the work produced.
The 10-15 paintings themselves, as well as numerous drawings and journals, will be created to my exacting standards of excellence in my inimitable style, proven over many years.
How will funding for this successful campaign be used? You have a right to know. Here's a modest estimate of expenses:
The airfare to and from Haiti ($900). The cost of immunizations and materials in connection with the trip ($250). The cost in time and money to create this meaningful body of work, including art supplies ($350), and the hundreds of man hours away from commissioned work (priceless). The cost of framing and presenting the work for exhibition ($1,500). The cost of writing, designing and printing the exhibition catalog ($1,800). The marketing and promotion of the exhibition ($300). The cost of shipping the work to the various venues ($400). These estimated costs, not including mine and WMI's labor of love, come to $5,500.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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