A Look Inside The Do Art Foundation

Better Out Than In—the name of the graffiti artist known as Banksy’s month-long residency in New York City. If Banksy taught us anything, it was that “Outside is where art should live – amongst us.”

Founded in 2010 by creative event company The Do Lab, The Do Art Foundation is a non-profit that works to improve art access and education by promoting and creating work visible in the public landscape.

And it’s not just any work. Do Art was created out of the idea that art should help bridge communities and create important humanitarian cultural conversations through collaboration and public access.

Carmen Zella, co-founder and Executive Director at Do Art, stresses why the organization is so important: “Art is what creates awareness of ourselves, our environment and permeates our subconscious mind.  That is powerful, and should not be marginalized or disregarded as superfluous and unnecessary.” She adds, “Creativity is the birth of all great inventions and needs to be developed and honored in our society more then it currently is.”

Simply put, Do Art wants the public to “do art.” This is accomplished by facilitating events, programs, and exhibitions that inspire creative expression within society. In addition, through interaction and education, Do Art helps develop the careers of visual artists and foster artist-audience relationships in these local and international communities.

Let’s take the example of My Friends Place, a community center that works to assist and inspire homeless youth. Do Art brought mural artists to revamp the exteriors of the Hollywood shelter.

“The pieces we have now give us a place of conversation with the young people […] and for the community as well. My hope is for people to explore what My Friends Place is [and] also think about the issue of youth homelessness in a different light,” says Heather Carmichael, Executive Director of My Friends Place.

One of the five artists invited to work on the project for My Friends Place, Aly Kourouma, adds: “I’m very excited every time I work with Do Art because they’re always concerned about the impact of the work of the artist on the community.”

That’s just one example of the communities and artists that Do Art has impacted.

There are a handful of ways you can support Do Art’s work:

  1. Become a member and get discounts to Community Partner businesses, Do Lab shows, and other perks. Memberships range from $25 for students to $200 annually.
  2. Make a donation. Funds will support the creation of publicly visible pieces by contemporary artists.
  3. Volunteer. Do Art is looking for help with photography, social media, research and projects. You can also go on a meaningful trip to Haiti for Do Art’s latest Community Outreach Project ($4,000-6,000 per person).
  4. Buy art. Prints in the online gallery store start from $100, while original paintings start from $500.
  5. Follow Do Art on social media or email them at volunteer@doartfoundation.org.

Electrify Mag is proud to be a supporter of Do Art’s work. At our event at the IMAGINE gallery on February 11th, 2014, we will be raffling a print of “BELIEVE” by Peter Ruprecht. Proceeds will benefit The Do Art Foundation.

Originally published on February 11, 2014 in the Electrify Mag debut print issue

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