THE ALOHA SPIRIT ART PROJECT - A GIFT OF LOVE TO THE WORLD!
Hello everyone, I'm Carlos Serra. Welcome to "The Aloha Spirit Art Project!" Are you as sick as I am of the violence in our planet? Aren't we all tired of seeing innocent people getting killed for nonsensical ideologies or just plain evil and hatred? And more importantly; what are we all willing to do about it?
The Aloha Spirit Art Project is a response to violence, hate and indifference, but this also an invitation for you to join forces by becoming an active part of it as a co-creator. How? Further below you'll see how, but first let's review:
WHAT IS THE PLAN?
The ultimate plan is to share the Aloha Spirit with the world by creating 100 life-size sculptures containing a message of love, kindness and compassion towards our fellow humankind, in the form of a poem, and place the sculptures in 100 cities around the world. That's the long term commitment. The sculptures will be created in a bi-dimensional form first; a painting, and then I'll write the poem and make the sculpture from it.
Here is Painting one, Poem one, and Sculpture one ready (scale size). Titled "A Gift of Love", a Hawaiian wahine is holding a heart as an offering to the world. Rooted on the volcanic topography of her beautiful land, instead of lava that emerges from the guts of the earth, she rises up to offer the deepest and most precious gift they all have to the world; the Spirit of Aloha; the spiritual connection of love and kindness that unites all Hawaiians as one race.
Additionally, I will publish a book that will provide for an additional source for the ample funds needed to create and place a permanent monument in bronze. This current campaign is the launching of the project, and it's seeking the funds to create and publish the book that will provide the following:
1- A tangible tool to make personal presentations to the different cities to seek funds and support to create and install the sculptures.
2- Sales revenues. All sales will be dedicated to funding the project.
3- Provide an introspective view on what the project is all about.
4- Seek corporate sponsorship.
5- Provide support for a visual presentation along with the paintings and social media.
But being optimistic and counting on your support, we look for the stretch goal as a way to move faster towards making the sculpture into a life-size, in bronze, and placed it on the first city. The foundry part will be done at Art & Sculpture Unlimited, one of the most prestigious foundries in the United States. Further below I'll show you more about them.
Just the foundry part alone requires an investment of $25,000, not including the base and installation. Even though Art & Sculpture Unlimited will do it at cost, the beauty and permanence of bronze is costly. However, make no mistake; this project will happen, and we have plans to obtain the funds needed via multiple sources; sources I will share with the backers in due time, but having you directly involved makes so much more sense, especially when your name will be permanently attached to the monument... forever!
To understand this project it is important to understand the Aloha Spirit. If you are Hawaiian, you need no explanation; you live it and feel it every day. But if you are not familiar with the Aloha Spirit, here is a quick depiction of the origins of Aloha:
INSPIRATION: My primary source of inspiration to do this is my two boys. As they swiftly grow up to become adults (currently teenagers), I wonder about the kind of world they will inherit from our generation. As a parent, I cannot remain indifferent when I see horrible images of the constant attacks around the planet. Should we continue to quietly accept such violence, it's only a matter a time before it touches us directly.
Holding the purest and infinite form of love towards my kids, I get deeply affected seeing in the news the images of a little girl covered with a blanket, lying down lifeless on the asphalt in Nice, France, with a doll next to her after a terrorist rammed a crowd with a truck. Or Brodie Copeland, who with only eleven years-old died with his father on the same attack in Nice. Or another girl, Saffie Rose-Roussos, who with only eight years of age was killed in a bombing during a concert in Manchester, in the United Kingdom. Or Julian Cadman, a seven year-old boy killed when a van ran intentionally over a crowd in Barcelona, Spain. When do we say enough is enough?
But there are also personal and tragic circumstances that make me wonder about life and my personal responsibility to react, to do something, and to be the change I want to see in the world, as Gandhi proposed.
Few years ago, I went through a personal and rather painful experience that showed me what a single individual filled with wickedness can do. I lost a good friend of mine, a beautiful, talented and young woman who was attempting to break a world record in the extreme sport of freediving. Her name was Audrey Mestre.
The story made it to the international news, and even a celebrated Hollywood director like James Cameron wanted to take the story to the big screen. But once the facts were uncovered - by me, after a long and eventually shocking investigative process - the would-be script ended up being totally different from a real-life romantic saga of Jack and Rose in Titanic. The video below is a short segment edited from a documentary made for ESPN.
Although I was deeply saddened by Audrey's untimely death, the most devastating aspects of the whole situation for me were:
1- Abruptly discovering the capacity of some people to do selfish, wicked acts.
2- Having to face evil in such a personal and direct way, and...
3- Realizing how a major, life-changing event can hit any of us at any time, forcing me to meditate upon life's priorities, how precious and short life is, and how insignificant our lives can be unless we are committed to do something good for other people.
Nevertheless, as terrible as that episode was, something positive happened as a consequence:
1- It led me to seek the opposite of the malevolence I had witnessed,
2- It redirected my steps towards a less materialistic and more spiritual, meaningful life, and...
3- It forced me to take art more seriously and find a motivation for my art to exist. This art project is my response to MLK's question. So here we are, committed to make of my artworks a conduit of love and kindness towards humanity, and that's all of us.
The formula is simple; light and darkness cannot coexist within the same space, nor can love and hate coexist within the same body, mind and soul. If we inspire people - using art as a conduit - to embrace love, as a result, love will drive out hatred and indifference form the minds and hearts of many.
WHO'S INVOLVED IN THIS PROJECT?
Besides me as the main creative force behind the project, the following people are, either part of it, or have contributed to some extent with this particular campaign, and I personally owe them a great deal of gratitude:
Lazaro Valdez: Sculptor and owner of Art & Sculpture Unlimited. Art & Sculpture Unlimited is one of the most prestigious foundries in the United States. Lazaro's experience working on large scale projects is priceless, along with his incredible people. This incredibly talented staff makes the sculptures for legendary artists like Fernando Botero and Jorge Jimenez Deredia. Showing their commitment to love, they will do the foundry part for The Aloha Spirit Art Project at cost.
Then there are the true engines running this project. Without them, I would be lost. I'm an artist, so scheduling, emails, interviews, sending packages, social media and all that would drive me crazy. Thank God for them but please don't tell them; they may get cocky!
And a great deal of gratitude goes to these exceptionally talented people:
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST... YOU, THE BACKER!
How can you get involved? Simple! Besides the pledge to support this project and its love-driven cause, ALL backers will be named in The Aloha Spirit Art Project book and acknowledged for their support.
However, we are also counting on the stretch goal to obtain the funds to establish the first sculpture. That's why the most significant part is you, the backer, and here is how you can, not only contribute, but become an intrinsic part of this project!
• As said before, all backers will be acknowledged in the book.
• All people with pledges of $200 and up will have their name engraved in a stone brick to be placed at the base of the sculpture as a permanent testimony of your commitment to share Aloha.
• All backers will be invited to provide their own sketches for what the subsequent paintings and sculptures should be like. In other words, you'll be commissioning me to paint and sculpt the next phase and your name, if selected, will be credited as co-creator. That should be an interesting challenge.
• Additionally, all backers will be invited to provide their own poems to be added to sculpture two and even the subsequent ones. A selection process will be assembled to select the one that may better fit the next sculpture and its intended message. The one selected will have his/her name, along with the poem, added to the sculpture and credited for it. The rest of the poems will be published in the book with full credit to their authors, and may serve as a database for the subsequent sculptures as well.
But besides immortalizing your name with a stone brick, there are some items you can obtain for its corresponding pledge to support The Aloha Spirit Art Project. Here is the list:
Now join us, make a pledge and let's bring the beauty of the Aloha Spirit to the hearts and souls of people worldwide! I will personally thank you for that, and the world most certainly will thank you for that, as well. But most importantly, your own kids may thank you for taking a stand against hatred, violence and indifference. It's simple, because as John Lennon said:
Aloha for you all, and God bless, my friends!
Risks and challenges
Risks and Challenges are minimum at this point since most rewards are either already produced or can easily be produced, like the Art Collection Series.
Art is what I do, so those rewards will be produced and sent to the backers with no foreseeable risk at this point.
The only implicit risk could be the stone bricks. If by any chance the sculpture can't be placed in any city, then the bricks will not be placed either. However, having ample experience dealing with city authorities from different parts of the world during my entrepreneurial time in diving, making presentations and obtaining funds to have world-record events in those cities, are part of my personal curriculum or resume.
Therefore, the project will happen, especially since there are so many options, and every city has a budget for public art projects. It's only a matter of knocking at some doors and we already have. Besides that, we will seek for funds via other venues like corporate sponsorship (I also have experience on this one), grants, book sales and art sales, as all of my artworks will be sold with the solely objective of funding this project.
Nevertheless, constant communication between us and the backers will be maintained via emails, updates and social media. Everyone will know exactly where we stand with the project.
- (30 days)