Canvas Peace Project on Display at Rhythmix

Courtesy photo - Painter Dave George’s “Woman with Bead Necklace” will be auctioned off to raise money for two charities that benefit women and children in Africa tomorrow.

Rhythmix Cultural Works (RCW) is displaying a gallery of works from the Canvas Peace Project, an idea created by the HOPE for Ariang Foundation to raise money to support educational opportunities for women and children in South Sudan. Tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 27, RCW will be host to an art auction to support two nonprofit organizations, HOPE for Ariang and the Valentino Achak Deng (VAD) Foundation.

One of the event’s organizers, Julie Stonehouse, lives in Alameda and has connected the VAD Foundation with the Canvas Peace Project and RCW. 

The VAD Foundation is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that focuses on creating quality education opportunities in South Sudan. Established by Valentino Deng and San Francisco author Dave Eggers, the organization’s first major project has been the construction and operation of an 18-structure educational center for secondary (high school) students in Valentino’s hometown of Marial Bai, South Sudan. The center is free for students to attend and is open to all genders.

HOPE is also a U.S.-based nonprofit. Gabriel Deng created this organization to build a primary school in his hometown of Ariang, South Sudan. One of HOPE’s board members created the Canvas Peace Project as a way to raise funds and engage artists from around the world to help education and women’s programs in South Sudan.

The auction will be a ticketed event from 6 to 9 p.m. and will include food, an open bar and speakers including Deng. The art being auctioned includes paintings in a multitude of mediums, photographs, cloth pieces, clay sculptures, and more. Both local and non-local artists have donated art of South Sudanese subjects to be auctioned off tomorrow; all art is also available for bid online leading up to the event.

“Spreading awareness and supporting grassroots projects in South Sudan empowers women and youth who have been most devastated by war,” said VAD Executive Director Carrie Clements. “By providing safe environments, quality education, and access to food, which are all too rare in the region, we have the opportunity to change the course of someone’s life for the better.”

While Eggers was orginally scheduled to attend this event, it was announced the day this article published in print that he would not be able to attend.

RCW is a community based association built to bring together people of all ages. It aims to share high quality art and performances with those in and out of the Alameda community. RCW is located at 2513 Blanding Ave. Find out more at 865-5060 or www.rhythmix.org.

Morgan Wolfe is an Alameda Sun intern. She can be reached at editor@alamedsaun.com.