Thomasville art gallery raises money for Ukraine relief
THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - A Thomasville art gallery is taking a crafty approach to supporting Ukraine during its time of need.
Fran Buie, Wiregrass Art Gallery treasurer and fundraiser organizer, thought of Ukraine long before the Russian invasion began. She started painting Ukrainian-inspired Easter eggs six months ago for the art gallery.
When she heard about the invasion, she knew she had to shift her focus to help over three and a half million refugees that fled.
“My heart was broken looking at what was going on in Ukraine. So, I decided to go ahead and start selling the eggs and of course, you know that sell price would go towards a Ukrainian humanitarian fund,” she said.
It wasn’t long before other artists at the art gallery heard of Buie’s efforts and decided to pitch in. Now, the month-long fundraiser has 10 artists from the gallery dedicating their artwork to helping the European country.
“This is something that I’ve never done before and I decided that I needed to do something. I needed to take some kind of action and I’m sure that was the response I got from many of the other artists,” Buie said.
Anyone who visits the art gallery will see symbolic ties to Ukraine as most of the artists used Ukrainian colors in their artwork and the European country’s national flower, the sunflower, can be found next to each artist’s artwork.
Buie said 100% of the funds raised will go towards getting needed supplies such as clothes, food and medical attention for refugees.
“We have so much in our country and now, they have so little. It’s important that we reach out and help our fellow person,” Buie said.
One of the fundraiser’s artists, Becky Buchanan has a personal connection to the fundraiser. One of her friends lived in Ukraine and had to leave during another invasion in 2005.
Years later, Buchanan said she jumped at the opportunity to help with the fundraiser if it meant helping her friend.
“It’s heartbreaking to know this is even happening and so this is my small way of giving back,” she said. “I have been blessed with so very much, as we all have, and when the idea of this (fundraiser) came up, it’s like ‘yep, I can donate proceeds from my sales to her,’” she said.
Buchanan added that the fundraiser is so much more than just raising money.
“I’m very proud of the gallery for doing this as far as a fundraiser. It’s not about the money, it’s about we’re all people on this earth and we have to do what we have to do,” she said.
Some of the artists will be continuing the fundraiser into the month of May. Buie said she encourages anyone to come to the gallery, even if it’s just for a visit.
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