It's getting to be that time of year again... November is National Alzheimer's Awareness month and this will be my 4th November of fundraising! I thought you all might like to see the timeline of how it all started and where I hope it will go! :)
In 2011, I was a painting student at VCU School of the Arts and I received the Undergraduate Student Art Grant to help me and my partner create an installation called "Remember Me". The installation consisted of 84 portraits to illustrate the disturbing fact that by 2050, one out of every 85 people will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. We sold these portraits and all the proceeds went directly to the Alzheimer's Foundation. Over $1,200 was given. The photos below show a preview of the crazy amount of work that went into bringing that project to life. We were so lucky to have our work shown in TWO venues; Common Art Space at VCU and Rick's Custom Frame + Gallery in Richmond, VA.
The biggest of thank yous to Rick Michaels & Phyllis DeMaurizi for opening your frame shop/art gallery to us on 11-11-11. It was truly a night to remember! And another thank you to my grant partner Virginia Wood, for slaving away with me for months to make a pretend living room and 84 portraits of our favorite people!
In 2012 I gave 10% of all the art related profit I made during the month of November to the Alzheimer's Foundation. I was able to give $90 thanks to the following commissions from November 2012:
A huge thanks again to Cindy Jez, Casey Mack, Wendy Urquhart, Amanda, Tim, Tyler, & Alyssa Meighan, and Tom & Laurie Park for your commissions in 2012!
In November of 2013 I became a full time artist. Again I gave 10% of my profit from that month to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. This time I accepted donations as well (thank you Tom & Laurie Park!), my goal was to double the $90 I gave last year. Thanks to the work I sold to amazing customers, I was able to succeed in donating $180!
Rachel Luginbuhl, Tom & Nancy McClowskey thank you for your commissions! And Neva Goeres - thank you for being one of the first people to ever purchase a painting directly from my site! That was the best feeling!
In my 4th year of fundraising for the AFA, I hope to again double the previous years proceeds! I would love to be able to donate $360! Now that I have been doing this art career thang for almost a full year, I have a lot more products to offer. Meaning, the 10% of my profit that I'll be donating will include EVERYTHING - from RVA Calendars and prints, to Small Scale Paintings or Large Scale Paintings, to Custom Paintings!
So you may be wondering WHY Alzheimer's Disease? To say I fear this disease is an understatement. For anything to have access to my mind, control it and remove the very parts of it that make me, me - is a terrible fate for any person but also an incredibly tough road for anyone close to that person. Which is why I choose to donate to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. Their goals are not only to research and find a cure for Alzheimer's, but to provide care for the caregivers, assistance for the family members who don't know where to start when it comes to tending to the loved one who no longer recognizes them. You can learn all about them here.
I'm combining my art with this cause, because every commission I have ever been given - every painting I've ever made, each lithograph I've printed - has had a story behind it. I have been asked to make paintings that depict the city where a small business owner learned what kind of life he wanted to lead, to paint a bright colored whimsical tree with the words of Dumbledore written in the soil, to paint a new beginning after the end of a relationship, to paint a fluffy bunny who eats Cheerios. We all have stories worthy of telling and my art is a physical way for you to share your story with others. It only seems right to donate a bit of the profit that I make from this amazing job, to an organization whose dream is for everyone to hold on to their memories forever.
So here's my final word before the weekend begins -
Whether or not you choose to purchase any art from me during Alzheimer's Awareness Month (November 1st-30th, where 10% of your purchase will be given directly to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America) - I hope you will consider giving directly to this kind and loving organization. You can do so by clicking here: Remember Me - Art for Memories
Memories are our most precious possessions. Alzheimer's steals our memories from us. Let's work together to put a stop to this disease that is developed by a new person every 67 seconds in the United States and that kills more than breast and prostate cancers combined. You can learn more facts about the disease by watching this:
Hi friends! Welcome to the blog! I'm Mandy and I'm an artist, blogger & founder of the "Artists to Know" interview series. Here you'll find photos of my latest art adventures, furniture makeover projects & advice from successful artists!
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