Massachusetts-raised artist James Ayers launches Wopila, a philanthropic guild to benefit Native American youth art education
“I want to make sure that the traditions which have inspired my work are kept alive for future generations.”
~ Painter and Wopila co-founder, James Ayers
[ELIZABETH, CO, August 30, 2010]—James Ayers, an award-winning artist who grew up in the Boston suburb of Milton, is using his platform in the fine art world to fund art education for Native American youth through his new artist association, Wopila Artist Guild.
Ayers and his colleague, sculptor and Wopila co-founder Craig Bergsgaard, plan to host a Western Art show each year and donate part of the show proceeds to help fund art education for Native American youngsters.
The organization’s first show will honor the Navajo weavers of the Toadlena Trading Post and will support the Toadlena Young Weavers Fund, which sponsors lessons in traditional weaving techniques for Navajo youth.
How is Wopila Artist Guild different from other Western Art-themed artist associations?
For a century, artists have banded together to help promote quality Western art.The goals of most of these fine art organizations have centered on commercial or stylistic objectives, rather than philanthropy. Wopila Artist Guild seeks to change that tradition.
“As artists who gain inspiration from Native American cultures, we have both a passion and a duty to help preserve cultural history whenever possible,” says Ayers. “What better way to do this than through art education for youth? Art is the body through which the lifeblood of a culture circulates.”
Like-minded, established artists are encouraged to apply
Ayers and Bergsgaard would like to grow their nascent organization’s reach in order to help more young artists. To do this, they encourage other established Western artists to join this association.
“We are informal and sincere,” Ayers says, “and are opposed to overhead and rigid bylaws. Instead, we simply hope to find other Western fine artists who share our commitment to sharing.”
About the Toadlena Trading Post benefit show
Wopila Artist Guild’s first show, Honoring Weavers with Canvas and Bronze, opens at the Toadlena Trading Post bi-annual summer party on June 18, 2011.
The show will feature the work of Ayers and Bergsgaard, with 30% of the proceeds going directly to the Young Weavers Fund, a 501-3c account devoted to youth weaving education at Toadlena.
Paintings and sculpture in the show will be available by draw basis only.
About James Ayers
James Ayers was raised in Massachusetts, where his family still resides. He attended the famed Rhode Island School of Design, and after graduation, traveled the globe learning about indigenous cultures.
Ayers’ work is featured in private and museum collections across the United States, including a recent addition to the permanent collection of the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia.
For more information
For more information on James Ayers’ work or the Wopila Artist Guild, please visit the following websites: www.jamesayers.com or www.wopilaguild.org, or contact James’ spokesperson, Amy Steeby at email@example.com or at 602-510-3662.