The University of Olivet Student Art Project, “Sunflowers for Ukraine,” Raises Over $550 in Support of World Central Kitchen

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The University of Olivet Art Alliance, a student-run organization that promotes the arts, raised over $550 for the nonprofit organization World Central Kitchen in support of the citizens of Ukraine. The “Sunflowers for Ukraine” fundraiser was part of the Art Alliance annual fall Service Day project.  

Students created a limited edition etching to raise money for their cause. Leah Hopkins, an Art Alliance member, said, “Students were tasked with creating one-of-a-kind sunflower etchings into small plexiglass plates. These were then inked and transferred by a printing press onto 20 individual sheets of paper, each one unique in its arrangement and finish. No two pieces are the same, and the 20 sheets that Art Alliance completed are the only ones that will ever exist in this collection.” 

Hopkins added, “Art Alliance chose this project to aid the suffering of Ukrainian people. It was a way for us to present something beautiful to the OC Community in support of others and to bring some sunshine into a heavy topic that impacts millions of people.” 

Donald VanAuken, professor of art and program director of visual art talent, said, “Through this project we wanted to give to a charity that aid’s people on a global scale. The World Central Kitchen is such a fantastic charity and aids so many people it was a natural fit for our student organization’s mission.” 

The sunflower theme was chosen with thoughtfulness. “Sunflowers are Ukraine’s national flower because of their cheery nature and brightness: a perfect representation of the Ukrainian people and their tenacity and unity through these troubling times,” Hopkins said.  

Art Alliance made their limited-edition etchings available to purchase to the public during The University of Olivet’s Homecoming on Oct. 8. Between the sale of the prints and general donations, Art Alliance raised over $550, 100% of which will be donated to World Central Kitchen to help feed the people of Ukraine.  

“There is honestly not much that feels better than knowing that something beautiful that you have created is going to be helping people in need. I love that we are bringing awareness to the support Ukraine needs and being able to build something together to help others,” Hopkins said.  

VanAuken added, “We look forward to leading more visual art base projects that can aid local and global charities.” 

At The University of Olivet, all students participate in Service Day each semester. In addition, service trips throughout Michigan and across the U.S. are open to all students throughout the year. Through volunteer service and social action, students can identify and understand first-hand the civic and social challenges of our world, and act with others to make society more livable, humane and just.  

Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admission at 800-456-7189 or admissions@uolivet.edu.


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