Artist, gallery owner join AIDS fight
A year and a half ago, single motherhood financially strapped Sybil Hill. But the artist, whose work is shown at the Terzian Gallery, never strayed from her dedication to charity.
Her goal is to give away one painting a month. So far this year, she’s donated seven. Some of her donations were given to help Friends of Animals.
"Money was very tight," Hill said, "But I’m being watched. I tried to create something on the side and miraculously, I sell about three paintings a month."
She believes in karma. A good deed given will summon a good deed in return.
"We just have to be kind and it comes back to you," Hill said. "I’m not doing it to expect it, but I see it and it feels good."
Sybil’s paintings are mixed-media collages with an underlying tone that her images seem to be swimming in. That color has usually been white. Recently she has had a tendency toward red. One day for Hill, that was a sign.
"I was painting red and then I see Bono and the Red (Campaign), and it’s everywhere," Sybil said.
Bono, the lead singer for the popular band U2, launched the Red Campaign last January as a means of generating money to fight AIDS in Africa. Hill found her next beneficiary.
"The way (Bono) gives is incredible. I have to do this, children are dying," Hill said.
Hill said roughly 5,500 in African children die from AIDS each day, a staggering number she can’t ignore.
"When I saw that, I had to go back and ask ‘am I reading this correctly?’ I’m not a single mom in Africa dealing with this."
The Terzian Gallery is joining Hill by donating the proceeds from the sale of her red paintings toward Bono’s Red Campaign. This comes in a timely moment as the world celebrated World AIDS Day On Dec. 1and the holidays are in full swing.
"It is the season of giving," said Karen Terzian, owner of the gallery. "But I give credit to the artist. This is something that’s close to Sybil’s heart. She’s a very generous woman and has a great heart. I think this is a great thing."
Terzian subscribes to the idea that people should help if they are able.
"Looking at my life and family and health, I’ve been very fortunate," Terzian said. "If you have your health, you have it all. If I didn’t have my health, I couldn’t paint; I couldn’t run my business or go hiking. It kind of reminded me of that, and it struck me in the gut."
Terzian, who has seen first-hand the dire results of disease, believes her small gallery can make a difference.
"Even though we are in a small area, we can still make it a difference, we can still help. Even if it’s in a smaller way," Terzian said.
While Sybil’s talent is the main reason Terzian is featuring her art, she continues working with her because of her generosity.
"That’s one of the reasons I like working with Sybil," Terzian said. "I like her soul and spirit. She’s the real deal and she has her head on real straight, her priorities are in order.
"That comes out in her painting," Terzian continued, "it shows empathy for humanity and animals, her work is about history and connection. With all those things, art has a connection like that. I see that in Sybil’s work, she’s just so giving."
According to Terzian, it is rare to have an artist with such a giving personality.
"Sybil always has these ideas with donating," said Emily Chaney, the Terzian Gallery manager. "She donates her art, which is kind of unusual."
The type of paintings Hill has created are a little different than her other pieces. It is something that goes well with the AIDS benefit.
"They are mixed media with charcoal and acrylic mixed media. She uses an unusual resin on top, which is kind of an unusual technique. It goes along with Bono because of a vivid red color and an emotion in the piece.
"It communicates about the cause of what’s going on. It’s a unique and powerful color and we wanted to get people’s attention," Chaney said.
Chaney, who has worked with other artists, believes Hill is doing this for the right reason.
"I know how rare it is for artists to get involved with a cause," she said. "The amount of work (Hill) donates is quite impressive as well. Usually artists donate to get their name out there, but that’s not why she’s doing it. She just thought that it would be exciting and she wants to get involved in a national level."
Hill hopes to do more of this in future holidays by developing a theme every year.
"I want to do whatever I can do to give back. I think in the end it feels good."
Hill’s work will be in the Terzian until they are sold. For more information, call the Terzian Gallery at 649-4927. For more information on Bono’s Red Campaign, log onto http://www.redcampaign.org.
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