Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tell everyone your dreams!

On election day here in the US, I woke up thinking about a girl I met in Nairobi, Kenya, among other things of course. When I spoke to her class back in 2014, I told them to tell everyone their dreams". Imaculee timidly raised her hand and asked if I could get the school a computer. There were 800 children in the school and not one computer!   
It worked! Three weeks later they had their first computer! 
Where there is a will, there is a way. Dream big girls. Who knows, you could become president!
Imaculee is the second row center. 

Imaculee and her teacher with the school's first computer. 

Now, I am going to go out and be a #NastyWoman and Vote!

Tell everyone your dreams!

On election day here in the US, I woke up thinking about a girl I met in Nairobi, Kenya, among other things of course. When I spoke to her class back in 2014, I told them to tell everyone your dreams. Imaculee timidly raised her hand and asked if I could get the school a computer - 800 children and not one computer.  
It worked! Three weeks later they had their first computer! 
Where there is a will, there is a way. Dream big girls. Who knows, you could become president!
Imaculee is the second row center. 

Imaculee and her teacher with the school's first computer. 

Now, I am going to go out and be a #NastyWoman and Vote!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Christmas in July

Here is a little update.

In July we hosted a party organized by  Kerry Jetton to assemble Christmas gifts for the children at Future Leaders UCC.
Women from Northern Virginia and DC got together and hand decorated each gift bag. 
We shopped the back to school sales for art and school supplies for the gift bags. 
While we were decorated we were getting advice all the way from our friends in Ghana at Champions Porch sports bar on how to write Merry Christmas on the bags.
 Beanie Babies. 
We collected toys like barbies, 

and cars and trucks for the kids! 
We filled  and boxed over 260 gift bags - enough for all of the kids at Future Leaders plus the kids from the community who also come to the party.

Adrienne brought the boxes to Daniel, our shipping angel. Daniel got the boxes on a special shipment to make sure they would arrive in Africa on time. 

This picture was taken with the little bags we sent in 2012. It is so beautiful to see how the project is growing.  Thanks to everyone who participated!!!
Medassi Pa!

The ship set sail in September. Look for more pictures to come.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Colors of the World - Exhibition and Fundraiser in Arlington

  "If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, 
you'll learn things you never knew you never knew" 
Disney's Pocahontas

Two aspects of my life, as a painter and humanitarian, will merge this July as I share my paintings and raise funds for my charity at a solo exhibition and fundraiser at the Gallery Underground in Arlington, VA.  I choose the name Colors of the World, a take on the Disney song from the movie Pocahontas, Colors of the Wind, because, in my opinion, the song and my art resonate with the concept of empathy....... "We are all connected to each other, in a circle, in a hoop that never ends"  When traveling, I am fascinated by the unique colors and sense of energy that permeate a region. However, I am not drawn to paint the monuments or tourist attractions, but rather the snapshots of  beauty that can be found in moments of every day life - moments that stir universal emotions. Every painting tells a story, a place I visited, a person I met, a life that touched mine. These people have brightened my life, expanded my world and I try to give back by helping their communities though the charity Painting Brighter Futures.  Proceeds from each sale will go to Painting Brighter Futures projects to support groups on the ground helping children in Ghana , Kenya and here in the US. You can learn more on the website www.PaintingBrighterfutures.com. 

Hope to see you there. 

Reception July 10 from 5-8pm. 

June 29 – July 31, 2015 
Gallery Underground, Arlington VA 
Opening Reception July 10, 6-8pm

Monday, March 30, 2015

Thanks, Mark Zuckerberg!

for inventing Facebook to help me to connect with charitable people around the world! (whether or not that was the intention doesn't matter). Here's what I mean.....

On Friday, I was looking around on Future Leader's Underprivileged Children's Center's Facebook page to find a picture of their vocational sewing center in Ghana. I wanted to send it to my friend, Karen. Karen Read is an expat from the UK, currently living in Virginia, and passionate about helping children in need.  We were heading down to the Eastern Market in Washington, DC to do some market research. We were looking for a venue to sell the cloth bags made by the mothers of the children at the children's center. We plan to use the proceeds to help the fund to build a school.

Here, some of the kids pose with the bags their mothers have made. The sewing center is in an old shipping container.  When I first visited, they were using the old black singer sewing machines our mothers used in the 1950's.  It is great to see some of the new sewing machines  my friends in America have donated . At the center the women learn a trade for free and then pass the knowledge on to others. They also  sew the school uniforms for the children and products to  raise money for the new school. 

While looking for that photo I ran across this one on the kids reading with the phonics books we sent last year. I thought that my friend Diane Angba might like to see it. Diane made a call to Manassas Schools back in 2013 to ask if they had any computers they could donate. They didn't have any computers but they did have books. - Oh my did they have books. We had to send them by container ship! Twice!

On Saturday morning, I posted this picture on Diane's Facebook page. By evening, I had a new team of friends contacting me on Facebook, who want to collect donations and even travel to Africa help too. Cheryl in Germany wants to start a donation drive and meet us in Africa. Traci, works for an airline and is going to look into options for flying to Ghana. Jeri, a children's art teacher in Canada, is going to collect art supplies and plan a class to teach and Karen is organizing a booth at the Eastern Market in DC to sell the products.

This is Karen with one of the bags at the Eastern Market. Several people commented on the bag and we think they will  be a big hit. We loved the market, the people, the energy, the vibe. It reminded me of fun times traveling in foreign countries.

Oh, and THEN on Sunday, I had "real time" Facebook chats with the director of the school in Kenya and the school in Ghana to discuss how we are going to help them. It used to be so difficult to communicate with my friends in Africa. It is amazing to be able to communicate real time. Now, we are really going to be able to make some great things happen for these children. 

So, Thanks Mark Zuckerberg for inventing Facebook so that I could connect my friends in the first world with my friend in third. I bet you could never have predicted THIS way back when you were a college school! Isn't it amazing?!

Oh and Thanks Keri Douglas my social media teacher at NOVA. Great class.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Recent article about show in Frederick, MD

I am sharing an article written by the owner of  505 North Gallery in Frederick, Maryland.
Thanks Kelly!

Frederick Loves Kralick's Colors                                March 2015
By Kelly Phebus
Meet Northern Virginia artist Adrienne Kralick – painter, teacher, global citizen. She has recently returned after a sabbatical to paint and focus on her charity organization, Painting Brighter Futures, which helps children living in under-served communities of the U.S. and Africa improve their lives through education. (More information at: www.PaintingBrighterFutures.com .)
Paintings of African women and children at 505 North Gallery.

Public response Kralick's works showing in Frederick at 505 North Gallery & Studio has been centered around the colorful scenes from Africa and the joy depicted in the faces of people in their daily routines. "I love to paint people, especially women and children… a woman walking to work is an ordinary scene… with a basket of fruit on her head and a baby on her back the scene becomes exotic to someone who lives in America. I love this juxtaposition; the beauty of everyday life in different cultures and countries."

This series of oil paintings on linen reflects an impressionistic style, which translates well to viewers as memories we may illuminate with our own experiences. For commissioned portraits, Adrienne Kralick has used a clean, accurate and clear style of painting, but says she has always loved the impressionists. Kralick studied the work of the Dutch and Flemish masters while living in Belgium, and learned even more as a museum copyist at the Art Institute of Chicago. Today her style combines a range of techniques from different time periods. (More information about the artist at: www.AdrienneArtist.com .)

How did you come to understand such a variety of painting techniques?
Years ago when I sought to find a way to learn how great artists accomplished what they did, it was difficult to find. There really aren't any classes called "Learn the Secrets of Rembrandt", well, not until I started teaching the. I started by creating my own education - by learning techniques from many different places, studying with artists I admired in the U.S. and in Europe, reading a ton of books and articles, copying masterpieces in the museum at the Art Institute of Chicago, studying originals up close and in person wherever I could all over the world. Now, I teach workshops and classes on the various techniques of different artists and genres. I even lead a tour of Monet's France in the summer of 2013.

Adrienne Kralick learning the techniques on Pompei Batoni
at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003.

When did you first begin to paint travel series?
I first began to travel when I met my husband Ken. He has always traveled for business and the trips have gotten further and more exotic over the years. When we moved to Europe in 1998, my youngest child started school and I set out to paint each day. At that time I also took tons of photos of things I wanted to paint. I am still painting from those photos in addition to capturing scenes from my recent travels.

How do you manage in more exotic or remote locations?
Adrienne in Egypt 2014
I was terrified the first time I flew by myself to Europe and I was afraid to leave the hotel by myself. Now, I have flown alone to places like Ghana and Dubai and I am perfectly content wandering the streets of a new city alone. I try to see every art museum and gallery I can in each place. However, if it is a dangerous place or the culture is difficult to navigate, I hire a local guide to take me around. It is a great way to get to know the culture and make new friends.


How did you become interested in helping under-privileged communities?

I have always looked for a way to give back and tried several avenues before I found the one that spoke right to my heart – the children of Africa. I was first inspired help these children while I was visiting my daughter who was spending a semester in Ghana, studying at the university and volunteering with Future Leaders Underprivileged Children's Center. I immediately fell in love with the children and I just had to find a way to help them. But what could I do? I was just an artist with a little studio/school in Great Falls, Virginia. So, I decided to donate the proceeds from the paintings I was doing of African scenes to help the center.

When people heard about the project, they started to bring me donations of clothes and school supplies to take back with me to Africa – and I went back 3 more times that year! It had a snowball effect. We have now sent two shipping containers loaded with: school books, school supplies, clothes, shoes, sports equipment, computer, office supplies, sewing machines  and more. We started a new computer lab with donated laptop computers and are planning to break ground on a new school soon. I am amazed at how this has grown. Painting Brighter Futures is now a non-profit organization helping children in Kenya, Ghana and here in the U.S.
In 2013, Adrienne helped start a computer lab in Ghana with donated lap top computers and learning games.

What advice can you give anyone who seeks to start a humanitarian effort as you have done?

Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something and tell everyone your dreams. Someone might know someone who can help. Many people said I would never be able to get donations to Africa. But I did. I talked to practically everybody I met about what I was doing and eventually I met the right person who ships items to Africa. My network is still growing. Sometimes it takes two or three or four conversations with someone for them to hop on board. Now I have a band of volunteers having lots of fun, and shopping flea markets and garage sales for books and clothes for children in need.
The new computer in Kenya provided by Painting Brighter Futures. 

I recently spoke to a group of high school students living in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya. One girl (pictured right) asked me how they could get a computer – 800 children and not one working computer. Within a week we made it happen! I bought a computer and found someone who could take it with them back to Kenya. Word spread and a few other people have donated their old computers. It is amazing how many things we Americans have, collecting dust in our closets, that could change the lives of others.

What is next for Painting Brighter Futures?

Adrienne at Mogra Children's Rescue
orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya
I am having a fundraiser at Arlington's Gallery Underground in July and then I plan to take a group of volunteers back to Kenya in September. Each person will bring a suitcase full of diapers, pencils, computers and other donations for a school and orphanage in Mathare, Mogra Star Academy. While there, we will spend time helping care for the babies in the orphanage and help with projects at the school.

What is next for AdrienneArtist?
I am going to be teaching more art history and painting workshops. In March, I am teaching a workshop on the techniques of J.M.W. Turner at Artists on the Green in Great Falls, VA. I am looking for more venues to bring these classes and workshops to a larger audience.

I am also going to paint more mother and baby scenes. I recently created a quick painting of my daughter with a friend's baby. I enjoyed it so much and it has been getting such a great response. This one painting speaks to so many people: young and old, men and women. It really just flowed from my paint brush like nothing I have ever painted before.


Recent mother and child portrait.

 For more information on artist Adrienne Kralick and her non-profit organization visit www.AdrienneArtist.com and www.paintingbrighterfutures.com .

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Little things Do mean a lot!

Our friends at Future Leaders UCC in Ghana just posted pictures of these little reading and writing booklets sent in the last shipment. I am glad that the little booklets mean a lot to them and a little thing like seeing a photo of their smiling faces using the books means a lot to me. I am sharing this with everyone who helped me get the donations to Africa and to everyone who might want to help in the future. We can each do a small thing which can have a big!

I picked up these handwriting books at the Five Below store in Northern Virginia and here they are helping the kids At Future Leaders UCC Ghana learn to write.
On my first trip to Ghana there were no workbooks and I had to write letter dots on scraps of paper for the kids trace.
These phonics books were rescued from a pile about to go to the recycle bin at a public school in Manasas, Virginia.

Please consider doing a little thing today to help children living in desperate poverty in Ghana and Kenya. Buy a pack of pencils, crayons or writing booklets next time you are at the store. Or, make a donation via Paypal to help us purchase books and pay for shipping. Every little bit helps.

Thank you!