Wishing Well art show aids Ethiopians
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
By Jonathan Cannon
An Oklahoma Christian University-based organization hopes to help provide clean water to Africa through art.
Wishing Well will host its second benefit art show at the Oklahoma
Christian Art Gallery to raise awareness about conditions in Africa and
money to drill much-needed wells throughout Africa.
Director of Wishing Well Ryan Groves and his brother had the idea to
begin the organization. Groves began the Oklahoma Christian chapter in
the fall semester of 2006 while his brother started a chapter at
Pepperdine University. The Groves brothers believed the organization
should do more than just affect change in the health and living
conditions of the people of Africa.
“We have a focus not only
to change things in Africa by providing clean water, but also to change
things here by providing images of humanity,” Groves said.
Groves and the other members of Wishing Well believe the best way to accomplish this goal is through art.
“Art is a gift [from God]. It’s a creative medium used to change people,” Groves said.
affecting American society, Wishing Well also hopes to meet the
physical needs of the people of Africa and believes it is their
responsibility as a Christian organization to do so.
believe that as human beings we have more than just a responsibility,
but a calling to go and feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty,
clothe the naked [and] heal the sick,” Groves said.
organization accomplishes this by raising money to fund the drilling of
water wells in various villages in Africa, focusing primarily in
Ethiopia. They work with American contractors to drill the wells in
order to insure the quality of work and maintain contact with the
village to ensure the maintenance of the well.
“If we build a
well in a village, we keep in touch. If a well breaks, we’re going to
find people to go fix it,” Groves said. “We don’t want to give people
something that can’t be sustained.”
Wishing Well will use
proceeds from the benefit to fund the drilling of these wells and
future fund-raising events. The event will feature a number of Oklahoma
Christian students and alumni artists’ works. The art will be themed
toward the conditions and culture of Africa.
“Not all of these
pieces are death and destruction. It’s the culture of Africa; that’s
what we’re showcasing here,” Groves said. “We don’t want you to feel
guilted into this; we want you to feel like you’re a part of it.”
show will be on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. People visiting the gallery can buy
the original works at the show, professional prints of the works,
T-shirts and bags. Wishing Well will also accept donations, which will
go entirely to the drilling of wells.
There will be many
different styles of art featured in the show, including abstract, urban
and even some pieces that “address the situation in a more comedic
way,” Groves said.
Wishing Well members hope this show will be even more successful than last year’s benefit, which raised over $5,000.
“It has a lot of potential,” Travis Hughes, Wishing Well member, said.
Besides buying art, there are a number of other things students can do to benefit the cause.
Along with praying for the cause, students can “sign-up on the mailing list at www.wishingwellafrica.com that
actually does help the organization. When we go to bigger companies we
can say, ‘we have this many people on our mailing list, or in the
Facebook group,’” Groves said. Wishing Well also hopes to use the talents of students on campus. “If
you’re an artist, create; if you’re in public relations or
communications, come talk to us and we can find a way to fit you in,”