Feeding the Hungry Through Art - Capital Area Food Bank
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Feeding the Hungry Through Art

By Jana Robinson March 4, 2013

“This is so neat, because I’ve always wanted to do a denim piece,” says artist Eileen Williams, 55. “I am always saying, ’Let me create! Let me expose people to new forms of art!’ so that is exactly what I am doing.”
Williams is one of three finalists whose creation was chosen to be auctioned off at the March 24 Blue Jeans Ball, benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank.
“My husband and I have been giving back to the community since we married 30 years ago. The first year, we took food to the needy, and over the years, we have given time, money and groceries,” she says, noting that making custom-made artwork for the needy is a first for her.
The rules were simple: create art that can be displayed in someone’s home using denim. Of the submissions received, the top three were chosen to be featured.
Williams has been toiling over her 32” x 32” stretched fabric piece from her Columbia, MD home. Years of experience paired with about 60 hours of work have made her and her one-of-a-king piece winners.
“I’m kind of obsessed with patterns,” Jennifer Kline Vallina explains. Her submission to the Blue Jeans Ball is a creative take on denim, with a “macro photography” look at the frayed edge of a scrap of denim.
“It’s very granular. I never use flash photography – only natural light.”
The professional photographer’s 20” x 30” print on stretched canvas is her way of having a direct impact on the effort to help the hungry in the Washington metro area.
“I like that such a high percentage of money donated to the Capital Area Food Bank money goes straight to its cause,” says Vallina, 41, who has donated pieces of art to other causes in the past, but was drawn into this contest after reading about it on a community arts listserv.
Elizabeth Denholm, 20, has opted to create an 18-inch sculpture to showcase her ability.
“When I think of jeans, I think of labor – working hard. My sculpture is of Atlas holding up the world. That’s hard work. That shows strength,” the Catholic University Art History student says.
The Akron, OH, native had not worked with the Capital Area Food Bank in the past, but jumped on the opportunity when she heard about the contest through the Chair of her Arts Department.
“I am excited. This allows me to get my name out there as an artist and help the food bank,” Denholm says.
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