Smile Politely

“Giving it Forward” for wounded veterans

I rode my bicycle up to Indo  go Artist Co-op for last friday for “Giving it Forward” reception. The air was thick with moisture and hot, the sun was setting, and I could hear Friday Night Live musicians playing on Walnut street. When I walked into the co-op I was surprised at how many people were wandering the gallery, drinking wine and talking about the art. I was impressed, actually. This was my first time attending a exhibit opening at Indi go.

I was warmly greeted by Rebecca Renwick and her daughter, Katie. Rebecca is an interior designer and supplier who collaborates with the University on projects and also was a featured artist in the exhibit. Her daughter, talented as well, donated a some pieces of her photography to the exhibit. They thanked me for attending, talked to me about the exhibit’s mission, showed me around and introduced me to some of the artists. I thought to myself, “this is time well spent.” I asked Rebecca to expand more on the event. Below is our conversation.

SP: What is “Giving it Forward”?

Rebecca Renwick: “Giving it Forward” was phrase I coined because the artists were donating their works in hopes of raising money. Better said, they were giving something they excelled at in hopes other would turn it into a cash donation going forward.

SP: How does the event support veterans?

Renwick: Each artist wished to pass on the sale of their artwork to the Center for Wounded Veterans currently under construction at the U of I.

Above: Rebecca Renwick

SP: What was your inspiration for the event?

Renwick: I have been involved in a multitude of projects at the U of I as an Interior Designer and supplier.  Recently I was awarded a contract to provide window treatments and furniture to the Center for Wounded Veterans. During the process of reviewing the plans, I became very attached the mission of the Center and respected the benefactors such as the Chez Foundation. I wanted to do something however so small but in comparison from the heart!

Sandy Hynds (far left) and Ann McDowell (far right)

SP: Who are some of the artists participating?

Renwick: Katie Renwick, Don Lake, Judy Jones, Barb England, Bonnie Switzer, Barb Ryan, Margaret De Cardy, Sandy Hynds, Anu Murphy, Ann Rund, Jenny Barret, Sarah Wisseman, Barb Strauss and myself.

Katie Renwick

SP: How was your opening night?

Renwick: The opening night was well attended with numerous cash donations and three original art works sold. Many more are available and can be purchase by emailing [email protected] or
calling 217-621-5482.


SP: When will the exhibit close?

Renwick: The exhibit closed on Sunday July 13th.

I had so much fun at the reception experiencing the beautiful art, meeting the artists, and enjoying the great Indi go gallery. The exhibit is now closed but some of the art is still available for purchase. Contact Rebecca to get your hands on a piece of local art and support wounded veterans. [email protected] or call 217621-5482. And as always, share if you care.

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