FOR Blackrock Artist Adrienne Finnerty the decision to take part in the charity event, ‘Art with a Heart Project’ was automatic, having been struck by the suffering of those caught up in the Syrian conflict.
Organised by Laura Grimes Adrienne was one of a group of artists who were invited to help raise funds for this worthy cause through the unique concept of an Art Lotto, where the prizes are works of art.
In total 92 canvases were submitted for the ‘Art Lotto’ which took place Facebook live link on Sunday, 7th October. The funds raised from all the entry fees will benefit a charity working on the ground in Syria Medecins Sans Frontieres.
“Following the news footage of 5 year old Syrian boy, Omran Daqneesh, sitting quietly, dazed and confused with blood streaming from a head wound sustained when his home in Aleppo was bombed, I felt I could no longer sit back and do nothing for these poor people. Whatever small effort I could make would surely be better than nothing so I set up an auction for a picture I had painted in the hope of raising some funds for the relief effort and lo and behold it sold. It occurred to me that I could further use art as a fundraising too and so The ‘Art With A Heart’ Project was born’.
“The idea was simple, for €20, an artist (amateur or professional) would be sent a small pack containing a small 8 x 8 inch canvas and an entry form with a deadline by which they had to return that same canvas completed in any medium with an subject. When all canvases were returned, there would be an ‘Art Lotto’ whereby each participating artist would win the completed canvas of another participating artist”.
“Using Facebook as a platform, I set up The ‘Art With A Heart’ Project page https://www.facebook.com/artwithaheartforsyria/ and sponsored ads for members of the art community to participate in an Art Lotto. I also approached a small number of my own favourite artists and to my delight, some agreed to take part including Kate Beagan, Adrienne M. Finnerty, Padraig McCaul and Dave West amongst others’.
According to Adrienne she was delighted to take part,
“I was delighted to be able to in some small way contribute to helping people on the ground in this very complex Syrian conflict. I have huge respect for Medicines sans frontiers whom the money raised will go to. As artists we are regularly asked to donate paintings to worthy causes and I’m always delighted to do so but in this project each artist gets a fellow artists piece. We each pay €20 and this adds up. Hopefully a book will also materialise and raise further funds etc. I hope the project will grow legs”.
“My painting is Hope Springs Eternal & started as a room with pictures & curtains & flowers. This I obliterated and overworked with pattern & colour representing the total destruction of normal family life for the Syrian people. The brightly coloured squares are windows of hope for resolution of conflict and a rebuilding of lives & country of hope and solution to the conflict”.
In addition to the Lotto entries, a few pieces by acclaimed Irish artists such as Roisin O’Farrell and Myra Jago have been submitted to The ‘Art With A Heart’ Project for auction to further bolster the fundraising.
“The result of these activities is a stunning collection of some 95 paintings which before being sent to the ‘new’ owners will be photographed professionally, again on a voluntary footing, with a view to using the images in some printed format be it a coffee table book, calendar or some such that could go on general sale with huge fundraising potential for the Syrian relief effort.
“What started as a very small fundraising effort looks set to run and run. The response to date from across the art community has been astounding. If there are any professional artists out there who would like to donate a piece for auction or indeed a business or individual who would like to contribute to printing costs of a coffee book as outlined above, I’d be delighted to hear from them. The artwork can be viewed on Facebook and I can be contacted directly – Laura Grimes, 087 6165440, firstname.lastname@example.org.”