Promoting creativity for a good cause has been the noble aim of the Neel Parent Advisory Group since it was founded in 1998 by Hesperia resident Sharon Davis. The group sponsors a variety of cultural activities for physically and developmentally disabled childrenand young adults.
They include an after-school fine arts program led by the Goodwill V.I.N.T.A. Youth Ambassadors, a sub-group of Davis’ organization.
This November, the organization will hold its annual “Painting from the Heart Traveling Art Show” at a location in Los Angeles County, which will be announced in the coming weeks. Davis says submissions are now being accepted and she encourages young artists in the High Desert to participate.
“The Goodwill V.I.N.T.A. Ambassadors would like to invite disabled and non-disabled from young artists in the area ages 12 through 35 to send us their artwork,” said Davis. “It will be showcased alongside original works of art by some amazing California artists and celebrities and participants also will have the opportunity to sell their pieces.
“And we will give the proceeds from the celebrity artwork we sell to charity.”
According to Davis, the Goodwill V.I.N.T.A. Ambassadors work tirelessly to ensure their annual art shows go off without a hitch. Volunteer members do everything from raising the funds to pay for their venues to creating and sending out invitations. Additionally, they contact celebrities such as Bill Cosby and James Earl Jones to ask them to draw something to be displayed.
“Bill Cosby did a simple watercolor painting of a tree,” said Davis. “Mr. James Earl Jones did a doodle and Rosie O’Donnell drew a picture of three little kids.
“Yoko Ono provided us with one of her favorite pictures of her and John Lennon that John drew and Melissa Joan Hart has participated twice by painting an abstract watercolor.”
All artists who participate in the traveling art show will receive a Certificate of Achievement that Davis says is suitable for framing. Additionally, they will be inducted into the Neel Parent Advisory Group’s “Starwalk Project.” Their names will be engraved on a 4-inch-by-8-inch engraved brick in the walkway of a future creative arts center in Hesperia that Davis hopes will break ground in early 2015.
“There will be many celebrity names also on the bricks,” said Davis. “If someone wants their brick next to Michael Jordan’s or Jennifer Lopez’s, we will put it there.”
Submissions to the traveling art show are free and all mediums are welcome, including pastels, acrylics, air brush, charcoal and photography, to name a few. Each participant may provide two entries, which will not be returned.
Davis says all artwork must be unframed, signed and dated and should be no larger than 11-by-17 inches. Additionally, she suggests mailing entries in between two pieces of cardboard to prevent damage.
“Even though a young person is disabled, you put a paint brush in the hand or give them a camera and they do fantastic work,” said Davis. “Making art allows them to use the creative part of their brain and they come up with some amazing things.”
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