A stroll through downtown Berryville isn’t complete without a fresh hot cup of joe, and now through April 28th you can enjoy an extra treat while you’re waiting in line. “Artwork for Haiti” is a benefit show created by the students and faculty of local art school Opus Oaks, and is now on display at the Berryville News Stand.
Artists used images from the aftermath of the tragic earthquake in Haiti as inspiration. These powerful works of art capture the emotion and distress of the victims as seen from a distance. Works in acrylic, oil paint, graphite and other mediums provide a variety of styles and create a wonderful show filled with emotive images.
All of the artwork is being sold through a silent charity auction being conducted at the Berryville News Stand from April 12th through April 28th. Proceeds from the auction will benefit The Mercy and Sharing Orphanage in Haiti .
To place your bid, visit the Berryville News Stand during regular hours or call between 10 – 11am or between 2 – 4pm at 540-955-3218.
News Stand owner Glen Masters explained, ” Anyone can stop by and place a bid on any of the art. We will assign them a number so bids can be tracked throughout the auction and so that bidding remains anonymous.”
A bit of serendipity brought the Opus Oaks show to the coffeehouse. One of the school’s students, Anna Rogers, works at the Stand. Opus Oaks owner, Gale Bowman-Harlow approached Masters about showing the works, “Glen is such a great supporter of the community that it just came together that we would have the show here.”
The idea behind the project was also an epiphany for Bowman-Harlow. Her students had been working on something called the Memory Project in which artists paint portraits from photographs of underpriviledged children from around the world and send them to the children to boost their sense of confidence and appreciation. “I’d been working with my students for a couple years and knew what their capabilities were and it just came to me over one weekend. I said, ‘We have to do images of Haiti’, and then it just grew from there. Because they’d done the memory project a couple years in a row, they get real involved in using their art as an instrument to cross barriers. It becomes very meaningful. They were on board right away.”
Bowman-Harlow saw a CNN a report on The Mercy and Sharing Orphanage in Haiti and was impressed with its mission. “They were trying to expand and accept one hundred more children after the earthquake and they also serve children with a lot of disabilities. It just seemed like a home-grown operation there that was working.” The Opus Oaks art students all agreed to make the show a benefit for the orphanage.
Anna Roger’s has three portraits in the show. The most dynamic is her oil and pastel of two young women. One looks aside wearily and the other stares toward the viewer lost in thought. It is a credit to Roger’s talent that at the age of 19, she is able to depict the emotions of these earthquake victims with such empathy.
Other Opus Oaks artists whose talents are featured in the show: Susan Becker-Welts with a hand raised dramatically against a quake damaged wall; Noah Dashner with two black & white images; Morgan Lockhart with a portrait enhanced with seismographic spikes; and Gale Bowman-Harlow with two portraits, one of which is a man working to rebuild his neighborhood.
website: The Mercy and Sharing Orphanage
website: Opus Oaks Art for Haiti page