Welcoming and presenting Mr. Richard Rensberry, author of several Children’s’ Books, who have authored today’s #100DeedsOfChange article and shares his experiences of how the passion to help our community can be achieved artistically, when our intentions are pure and for the good. Before we could read his contribution, let us know him better.
Artists Are the Backbone of Change
– Richard Rensberry
I needed to raise money for our charity drug education program dedicated to helping
our local schools educate children on the dangers of drugs. I got the bright idea of
raffling my artwork to raise the needed funds. I had also concurrently involved myself
with a recycling art contest event hosted by our city trash collectors for their recycling
awareness calendar. I decided to see what I could do by combining the two purposes.
The art contest required that the qualifying art be constructed of wholly recycled
materials. This for me was a Godsend, because all the materials for the art had no
upfront cost, but my time.
My first project was fated to me when I went to throw some of my old work shirts into
the trash can. I rethought what I had been about to do and held back. How might I use
these rags for my drug education project instead? Presto! I created my first recycled
art piece called Friends and submitted it into the art competition. Low and behold, I won
first prize in the adult resident division and netted $300.00 in prize money for the charity.
The next project presented itself as I was driving down the road behind an old pickup
truck with a heaping load of junk. The wind caught a piece of plywood and sent it
tumbling into the ditch beside the road. After a little contemplation, I did a u-turn and
fetched the plywood from its soggy cat-tail grave.
When I returned home later that day, I rummaged in the garage and saved a
corroded can of black wood stain from a trip to the toxic waste dump. Its contents were
in a severe state of coagulation, but with a little patience I was able to extract enough
stain to spread onto the plywood for a black canvas on which to create my next artwork.
I often jogged along the waterfront where teenagers drank and busted their beer and
wine bottles on the shoreline rocks. It was there I found an abundance of weathered
beach glass which I glued to the plywood to create a parrot that seemed to evolve
naturally from the shapes of the glass. With a few adornments of sticks, leaves and
flower petals added as highlights, I once again submitted the piece into the recycled art
contest. Bingo! Another $300.00 for drug education.
I was so inspired I went on to create a plethora of recycled art pieces for our annual
raffle resulting in thousands of dollars raised for drug education.
I was able to turn junk into lives saved. I used my skills and love of art to help impact
positively the lives of thousands of children in our community.
With the writing of this article I hope other artists find inspiration and realize the
power of their talents to enhance positive change for their communities and those that
can’t help themselves. Artists are the backbone of change!