Since 2006 I've made it a point to give back through my artwork. While the work itself is significant and has meaning for me, and art does heal people's soul, I want my efforts to have more of an impact. While I've been growing my business and raising young kids, the best way I can do that is through charitable giving. Over the past decade I've worked with and donated to Kaleidoscope for Hope, Project Self-Sufficiency, Quinlan Hospice, Birth Haven, Oasis of NJ, and Dining for Women, among others.
Recently, I've been wanting to help a lot of different organizations, and with the state of the world now, there seemed to be too many good organizations to choose just one. Until recently, I met Whitny Sobala, wife of photographer, John Sobala, who was exhibiting at a show with me in Madison, NJ. In our conversations about the recent election, we ended up talking about her start-up UMEWE, which is an "art and design collaborative founded with the conceptual artist, Uncle Riley, and supports, promotes and disseminates Optimistic 'tools' and works of public art." UMEWE worked together with Uncle Riley and Pantone to develop INT-O YELLOW which aims to promote a new movement in art, "Optimism," and through it "heal depression, end suffering and save lives."
I've started my first Instagram contest, and due to many local shows in the next few weeks, I decided, why not make the contest hyperlocal. I've started a new ARTament (one of my handpainted ornaments), featuring local scenery in Essex County, NJ. I'm hoping it will be finished in time for Sunday's ARTFULL HOLIDAY: a small art boutique located at the Firehouse Gallery, in Orange, NJ. It's hosted by Valley Arts and will feature jewelry, fiber art, paintings, vintage holiday decorations and more by more than 20 artists and organizations.
If you're in the Valley Arts District of Orange / West Orange, or in neighboring towns, or are out of the area and know someone in the Essex County, NJ area, please visit my INSTAGRAM page to enter.
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I took a few months off from my free monthly calendar download, but had time early this week to create one for November, actually at the beginning of the month.
November's calendar features "The Last Piece of Honey Cake" a small oil I just completed last month of a dessert my husband made from scratch for my in-law's Rosh Hashanah dinner. It's a traditional recipe that he found on Chabad.org, by Marcy Goldman, from her cookbook A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking and featured on Cook it Kosher by Miriam Szokovski. It was a big hit with everyone, despite not having the Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan that created the gorgeous relief in her recipe. (I might have to pick one up as a gift for my husband.) This last morsel was painted from life, prior to it being gobbled up. This cake would be tasty any time of year, and makes a great breakfast treat.
Enjoy your November and may it be sweet and full of family and friends. If you happen to make the recipe, let me know!
Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Sometimes called the Kitchen God's Artist, I'm balancing mothering two energetic sons, a big mutt Ringo, making and teaching art. TraillWorks is the apron under which I create and teach. My own art develops mostly in my West Orange home studio, but is sometimes spurred through my teaching.
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