Orphan Art Project | Swaziland

{2011} When I heard about the orphan situation in Swaziland, I knew I wanted to respond in some way. This project really came about from the deep desire to want to help. When faced with issues of poverty, death, orphan care, disease, massive societal problems…. we don’t generally think about sending in the painters right away. There are so many more needed skills to help with the massive problems at hand. But I find myself wondering “Well, I’m a painter…. can I help?”

I’m an artist and I care for the plight of orphans. I few years back I was in Nairobi, Kenya, and witnessed first hand the conditions young children have to live in all alone on the street. Those images haunt me daily. When I was asked to go to Swaziland and I heard that children faced the same future, I knew I had to respond in some way. I have asked God many times to have given me “more practical” gifts to help with the needs of others. But he has chosen to make me this way. If I consider my skill set, it really does lie in creativity and storytelling. This is what I have to offer.

Swaziland is a beautiful country with beautiful people. For a myriad of reasons, around 41% of the country is HIV positive. This is killing off most of the adult population, leaving a country filled with old people and children. There is a massive orphan population growing in the country. Young children left on their own to survive. They are dire situations. Their stories need to be heard.

These pieces of art are my attempt for you to hear that story. The paintings were made by orphan children in Swaziland and then brought back to the States where I finished them in my studio. You can learn about the whole project by going to:

orphanartproject.com

All sales of PRINTS go to the El Shaddai orphanage in Swaziland