African art gives festival an international flavor |

African art gives festival an international flavor

by April E. ClarkPost Independent Staff
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

A colorful pastel portrait of a smiling South African girl made a global impact at this year’s Fall Art Festival. The award-winning artwork, by South African artist Morina Rosenberg, won amateur grand champion honors at Glenwood’s annual art show. Rosenberg’s sister, Yvonne Reed, of Ridgway, Colo., submitted the artwork her sister shipped from Africa to raise money for the Peace Parks Foundation’s Elephant Conservation Project.”Morina and I decided that by getting the South African wildlife artists committed to the project, we could sell our art and donate a percentage of the sales back to the Peace Park,” said Reed, speaking at the Fall Art Festival banquet on behalf of her sister. “We now have nine South African artists involved – Morina being the first South African artist on this project, to get recognition and to sell a piece of work in America.”Fall Art Festival judges awarded Rosenberg $150 for her artwork, which festival awards chairperson Bonnie Daniels promptly purchased. Prize money and profits benefit the Peace Parks Foundation, which promotes wildlife conservation, ecotourism, and job creation in Southern Africa.”The judges didn’t know the story behind the portrait – they were just very impressed,” Daniels said. “I didn’t know the story when I bought it, either.”

Daniels’ husband chose the pastel to hang in the couple’s living room. “We love the color, love the subject matter,” she said. “And “It will go well because our living room has a lot of orange.”South African artist Marjolein Du Toit won reserve champion for her African-inspired artwork featuring a leopard. Daniels said Reed matted and framed the artwork to save money.”The (artists) had no formal art training,” Daniels said. “Their goal was just to make money for the foundation and they thought they could do it through the art show.”Publicity chair Ruth Mollman said the patronage Glenwood Springs showed to the South African artists impressed Reed.”She was taking note after note during the festival,” Mollman said. “She was overwhelmed.”

Reed expressed her appreciation during the Fall Art Festival banquet Saturday night. “The support we’ve received here has been so wonderful,” Reed said. “Thanks to the Glenwood Springs Art Guild for making this possible, and thank you all in this room tonight, for a moment to dream with me. The Peace Parks concept has grown far beyond any of our dreams. It now encompasses the tourism potential, the upliftment of rural communities, the building of wildlife colleges, training young South Africans to become rangers, safari camp managers … “Daniels said she would like to see a return of the South African artists in next year’s show – and elsewhere.”I will stay in touch with these folks because I think these could sell locally in galleries,” she said.

South African artist Morina Rosenberg, amateur grand champion at this year’s Fall Art Festival, is donating her prize money to the Peace Parks Foundation. The organization promotes wildlife conservation, ecotourism and job creation in Southern Africa.On the Web:

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