Sunday, June 7, 2009

~A Charitable Interview~

The You and Me Show Blog does a feature called: "Sunday's a chair at Ease featuring sellers who give." I was interviwed today and here is how it went:) I will provide the link to the blog when I get it:)

But please make sure to link the You and Me Blog as Katie's version is so much better!

1. Tell us a little about you and your work. Why did you choose the charities you have chosen for your work?

2. How do you donate to them?

3. How much have you donated to them so far?
I am an artist by nature. Not a day goes by that I do not crave to create something! Whether I choose to work on a photographic image, a sketch, a painting, a song or a textile piece, I never know what the day will inspire. My inspirations come from the sights, smells and sounds of my environment. Once inspired, I seem to travel to some other place. Like Paul Klee said about how his art came to life, "Everything vanishes around me, and works are born as if out of the void." I think that it also helps that I live in Western Montana, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
At this time in my life, I have three charities that I have a passion for:
Robert Redford's Sundance Preserve, my local animal Shelter –Friends of the Shelter and Susan G Komen's 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk.
For the past three years, I have donated a piece of my artwork to Sundance Resort's Food & Wine Festival’s Silent Auction. All proceeds go to benefit the Sundance Preserve. James Redford, Chairman for the Preserve and Robert Redford's son, sums up the its purpose in this mission statement: The Sundance Preserve creates the opportunity for each of us to be an agent of change - not only socially and environmentally, but also culturally. The Preserve stands for the preservation of our planet, the commitment to responsible public policy, the freedom to create art of every conceivable medium and message, and the enjoyment of a pristine wilderness landscape preserved for all time."
I have a high level of respect for Robert Redford and what he's done to open the doors for emerging artists, and so I do all I can to help keep that spirit alive! In fact, the Sundance Resort just invited me to be a featured artist for the months of September, October and November! So you see, the act of giving does have a way of coming around full circle
Click here to learn more about
Sundance Preserve.
Dogs steal my heart. I love them all, and if I could, I would bring home every abandoned, caged and abused dog in the world! But since that is impossible, I do what I can for my local animal Shelter in Eureka, MT which happens to be in desperate need of a new shelter.
Thankfully, a local couple in our community donated the land, but it appears that to erect the facility will cost another $100,000. I donate both my time and artwork when I can to The Friends of the Shelter. I also have created a line of dog cookies called
Speak Up! Super Snacks! I sell them in my Etsy store and all sales go to help the shelter. Click here to learn more about the Friends of the Shelter
As for the Susan G Komen 3 Day Walk my friend and fellow artist
Debi Hubbs opened my eyes to this charity. Her mother-in-law was dying of breast cancer, and she posted on her blog that she was participating in the walk. At the same time my friend Jane Anderson’s mother was a recouping from breast cancer treatment and my mother was battling lung and brain cancer. Sadly, Debi’s mother-in law passed away three weeks prior to Debi completing her first 60 mile walk. However both my mother and Jane’s mom are surviving cancer.
Jane and I decided that the best thing we could do to help the people, families and friends who have lossed a dear one to cancer or who are surviving or battling cancer was to to pray with moving feet.
To participate in the walk, each walker is committed to raising $2,200. Jane and I formed a team called The Baboobalas. With the help of our employers the
Bigfork Bay Cotton Co, our community, friends, family and artists all over the world, we have raised $13,200!
This September we are shooting for another $4,400 which will bring us to a grand total of $17,600! Click here to learn more about the
3 Day Walk
We raise the money from holding yard sales, raffling off donated fine art paintings and quilts, and hosting a holding a Heart @ Work Art Auction.
The Heart @ Work Auction is amazing. Artist from all over the world have been donating their artwork to help us raise money. This year we are incorporating a Lasagna Feed with the auction. I am hoping to get the lasagna and wine donated this year also! It is my hope that since food and wine is involved more people will attend.

4. How do you feel that your art influences the people that receive it?
I think people love to give, but I also think they need to receive something for their giving. I see that over and over again. I think it is just human nature. So that is why I think donating art to charities that hold auctions is so successful. People love to buy art but sometimes because it is not a life’s necessity like food and water, they feel a bit guilty purchasing a piece of art. But if the money goes to charity, then for some reason it makes it all ok.

5. Do you have any artwork that represents the charity you donate to?
I try to create artwork that is fitting to each charity. For example you can go to my blog to see the art quilts I donated to the Friend of the Shelter Winter Warmer Auction. I made Let it Go and Party Pooper exclusively for that auction. And of course the Speak Up! Super Snacks, I created those specifically for them.
I also have a line of postcards I am working on exclusively for the shelter as well. You can find some of them here on my blog: Postcards
As for Sundance, I usually donate my fine art photography to them. The subject usually is a horse theme. I donated Montana Whisper and Swan River Ride to Sundance. I am not sure exactly how much money they brought in, but I am told it was way more than the retail price. I am going to work on an exclusive piece for the preserve this year. I am developing the idea day by day.
For the Heart @ Work Auction that we hold to raise money for the 3 Day Walk, anything goes. In the past it seems I have donated lots of prints. I did create a watercolor for the cover for last year’s poster. In the past, there have been some artists that have created art specifically for the Heart @ Work Auction like Etsy artist Tascha, she created Live, Laugh and Love exclusively for us and we used it as the cover of our first poster.

6.How can we learn more about you and the charity you help out?

I have given links to all the charity’s that I support, however I am focusing heavily on raising the $4,400 that Jane and I need for the 3 Day Walk. Our Heart @ Work Auction is August 8th, 2009. I have a shout out to all artists (many of whom are artists) asking for artwork to be donated.
In return, I am linking to their websites on my blog and Facebook. Also we will spotlight the donated pieces at the Bigfork Bay Cotton Company’s Quilt store up until the day of the auction and have business cards and marketing materials there to hand out about each donating artist.
Plus as the auction approaches - Bigfork Bay Cotton Company – will send out an email with links to the donating artists’ websites. Our email list is over 1,000 people now!
Again the act of giving- gives back!
If anyone is interested in donating artwork, please email me at However if anyone wants to make a monetary donation please go to Jane’s Donation Page, as I do not have mine set up yet.

7. How do you think we could improve or beginning charity "art=food?" (
You know with the 3 charities that I support, they actually found me. All it took was an invitation to participate. People like to be invited! So don’t be afraid to ask for help. Also let your concerns be known wherever and whenever you can!
And one last thought, don’t get discouraged if you don’t see large numbers of people coming on board right away. Because all it takes is one person to start good changes happening.
Robert Redford tells a story about how he like millions of other Americans, became politically active during the late sixties, but for his own reasons. He states this in an interview on
Robert Leibman’s Website, “What started me was that the highway department was going to put an unnecessary eight-lane road in a canyon where I lived. We got together with a group of people, fought the highway department and won—we won legally and we won emotionally. It showed me how one person can matter and that it does make a difference.”
Remember that you cannot conquer hunger all at one time. So take comfort in what Mother Theresa said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”
I wish you all the best in your emerging charity, and I would love to participate in any way I can. Thank-you for this opportunity to share the things that are near and dear to my heart.

Traci Suzanne Marvel
Sundancer’s Art Adventure Blog
Sundancer’s Art Adventures Etsy Store


KLBK said...

:) it is us who feels honored Traci. Thank you for what you do. People who give deserve to be given back to :)

Traci Suzanne Marvel said...

Well I will be giving to your charity?
How can I help you?

About Me

My photo

Oh give me just one day to free my mind,to create to listen, to walk, to quiet my soul,to cool down,to carry on~ My photographs and other artworks are inspired by the wonder, simplicity and quietude of every day life. In every photograph,sketch, painting or textile piece, I hope to capture the spirit, the mood, the song of my subjects. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. My creative spirit awakened when I moved to Northwest Montana where there was plenty of room to roam with my camera and places to be alone with nature and its inhabitants. All my photographs are professionally printed by acclaimed Bozeman, MT artist/ photographer Rob Outlaw on archival quality fine art paper. My frames are custom built by artist Richard Moore of Wind and Snow Art Gallery in Polson, MT.