Mars Hill College will be partnering with Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville and Healing Art Missions for an exhibition of Haitian art, called “Art from the Heart,” from November 1 through 9 at Weizenblatt Gallery in the Moore building on the campus.
The art will then be auctioned at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church on Sunday, November 13. All proceeds from the auction will go for medications and operating expenses for a medical clinic funded by Healing Art Missions in Dumay, near Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
This is the fifth year that the church has held an auction of Haitian art. But according to Bill Gettys, a member of both the board of Healing Art Missions and of Grace Covenant Church, funds from this year’s art auction are particularly urgent, in light of the need for medications to combat a cholera epidemic currently raging in Haiti.
Healing Art Missions began about ten years ago, Gettys said, when a group of physicans from Ohio went to the town of Dumay and established a medical clinic. As the doctors and other volunteers returned year after year, they began purchasing art from Haitian artists and reselling it in the United States to help defray the costs of the medicines needed to treat patients in the Haitian clinic. The clinic established by the ministry is now open all year, 24 hours per day and is staffed by Haitian physicians, nurses and other staff. The operating cost for the clinic, including salaries, is approximately $2,000 per month.
“One of the goals of Healing Art Missions is to help Haitians help themselves,” Gettys said. “So, our role in the art auction is to help Haitian artists sell their art in America, so that Haitian health professionals can deliver badly needed healthcare services in their community.”
According to Gettys, delivering medical supplies and services to Haiti remains critical in light of a cholera epidemic that developed after the devastating earthquake in January, 2010. “Prior to this year, there was never a single case of cholera in Haiti, and now our clinic sees around 20 new cases a day,” Gettys said.
Cholera, though fatal if untreated, is curable with antibiotics. The rate of recovery at the clinic is therefore virtually 100%, Gettys said.
All art to be auctioned will be on exhibit in Weizenblatt Gallery between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, Monday through Thursday. The fifth annual Art From the Heart silent auction of Haitian art will be held on Sunday, November 13 from 9 am until 1 pm at Grace Covenant Church. 100% of all proceeds will go to the Dumay medical clinic.
Mars Hill College is a private, liberal arts institution offering over 30 baccalaureate degrees and one graduate degree in elementary education. Founded in 1856 by Baptist families of the region, the campus is located just 20 minutes north of Asheville in the mountains of western North Carolina.www.mhc.edu 1-866-MHC-4-YOU.
Grace Covenant is a progressive Presbyterian congregation focused on being a safe, inclusive place for spiritually hungry, institutionally wary people and committed to making a difference through service of our community and world. A PCUSA congregation, Grace Covenant and its community garden are located north of downtown Asheville at the corner of Merrimon and Gracelyn Avenues -www.gcpcusa.org