Falling upward: Women helping women through art during month of December
The age-old tradition of women helping women goes international during the month of giving and goodwill. Two local businesswomen are joining forces to assist an AIDS Orphans Support Group in South Africa during the entire month of December:
Anita Peghini-Räber, owner of Anita Peghini-Räber Gallery on Baltimore Avenue in Rehoboth Beach, and Anne Jenkins, owner of Anne Jenkins Art Gallery in Milford, will donate 10 percent of all art sales from Black Friday through December to the Amandawe Support Group in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Additionally, Anita Peghini-Räber Gallery offers a 50 percent rebate on the second painting of equal or lesser value by the same artist.
Peghini-Räber and Jenkins, both renowned artists, have been working together since opening and wanted to do something more with their art during this holiday season. They both agree the sale of art is a perfect way to assist the ASG since the group is using art to improve the community’s living conditions.
“The women personify 'Vukuzakhe,' which is Zulu for 'Stand up and do it for yourself,'” Jenkins said. “They are working for the money, not asking for handouts. I was so excited by Anita’s wonderful idea that for this month we’d work to give them a bonus, which they definitely deserve.”
Jenkins, a native of South Africa, has been collaborating with the ASG for four years and is part of the grassroots organization of approximately nine women. Jenkins’ sister taught the women to sew and create fabric landscapes which Jenkins irons onto tote bags and sells in her gallery.
All the profits go back to the group; over the four years she has sent more than $4,000 sent which in SA Rand terms is almost ZAR40,000, and represents close to the equivalent of $40,000 in buying power. It has enabled the group to start a soup kitchen and hire two gardeners to manage a perm culture garden to supply vegetables for the soup kitchen.
Peghini-Räber said she wanted to help these hardworking women and bring a new aspect to the season of giving. During the MOSAIC Second Saturday Art Walk, the gallery will offer a taste of South African food and wine to add to the interest of Jenkins’ mainly African-themed works. Jenkins will also be present at the gallery to discuss her art and the group’s activities.