That little project that we started last year called "HeART of the Horse: An Art Show/Auction to Benefit Equine Rescue" has started to take on a life of it's own. While I hope that it is always attached to S.A.F.E. I have been thinking that it may need to become an anticipated yearly event, much like the SAFE Benefit Horse show.
Bonnie & I were chatting about the success of the show and the areas that need to be improved. I'd come to the conclusion that thousands of dollars were left on the table at the last show (and probably the one before that as well) because, while we did get a great crowd there, we probably didn't get enough of the "right" crowd there to bring in the kinds of price tags most of that work was worth.
A huge thanks goes out to the artists and photographers who rallied to support us in our event and to all of the SAFE supporters who came out to collect some amazing pieces. But let's all think about the works & the artists themselves for a moment...
Several of the artists who contributed regularly sell their work for thousands of dollars & when they donate a piece they do so hoping it will bring in top dollar to help SAFE help horses in need. It must be so disappointing to watch your piece sell for a mere fraction of what it's worth. The point of giving is probably the act of giving but I can't help but think that their disappointment is based more on the lack of contribution to the cause over the lack of earning a reasonable price tag. Maeve explained the "charity" aspect of art donation to me from the write off (which is the cost of the materials, but not the retail value of the painting, itself) to the actual dollar value it brings to the cause in question.
My take-a-way from this last event is that there were works there that should have sold for more...LOTS more...and I'm thinking that we need to approach the art of the Charity Art Show from a new perspective & that is to involve the artists in the potential outcome more by encouraging them to promote the event and invite their known collectors, family & friends. People are probably willing to buy pieces they have a connection to or are aware of it's actual value. (Maeve also taught me that Art is a "perceived" value...it's worth what someone believes it is worth based on their own tastes and/or understanding of the market for it).
But as an organization, I think we also have an opportunity to promote our contributors whom I have now dubbed "HeARTists" and my first effort to help the public get to know them.
I've kicked off a project that will take the name of the event..."HeART of the Horse" but will expand it to an ongoing project with a once-yearly live event. The project will promote the HeARTists themselves and help to bring in folks who want to collect these amazing works.
It is my pleasure to introduce "Shano"
Shano is not only an artist but a long time SAFE supporter (a common trait amongst the HeARTists you will meet over the next several months).
In June of 2007, a Paint horse named Rusty came to SAFE through a neglect case in Skagit County. He was with SAFE as a foster horse until October and his custody could be released. Shano & her family adopted Rusty in November of that year and Rusty found his forever home on Camano Island. Doesn't it just make sense that artists should have paints?
According to her Bio she has a background in fashion illustration and art history but clearly she has a passion for painting and her unique style is among my favorites. I've actually spent hours just checking out her work featuring cats, dogs, mermaids, fairies, angels, fantasy and, of course, horses!
Take a peek at her work and if you're tempted to have one of her originals, a print or perhaps a handbag, tshirt or flask (yes, flasks!) then please purchase from her website...and for the month of December Shano is donating 20% of her US online sales if you mention "SAFE" in your message or in your email header.
You will find Shano's art on her website and the promotion is also located on the Save A Forgotten Equine Facebook Page .
Those who have me on their holiday gift list would find many Shano images that I'm sure you'll know I'd love! (yes, that's a hint!)
I'm certain there are gifts there for the horse, cat, dog (etc...) enthusiast on your own list if it doesn't happen to include me ...or should it happen to include me, I bet it also includes others with similar interests....so take her up on her amazing offer to help you check off your holiday list, help SAFE help horses in-need!
...or forward it to someone you know who has YOU on their gift list.... ;-)