From Hygienic Art.

December 2, 2020; Connecticut Examiner

Anyone who has negotiated a nonprofit through tough times knows the lengths to which some of us will go to keep hearth and home, body and soul together organizationally. I remember one tough summer where a bunch of us who had loved ones in prison would spend every weekend making and selling carrot-based baked goods at a local flea market. (Why carrots? They must have been cheap that year.) But if you are very lucky and a little wise, the activity you choose to get by on is one that ends up showing the core of who you really are to your community. It shows your core strength and commitment.

We have seen any number of such inspirational, spur of the moment fundraisers pop up this year, of course, and this story is about another, one designed to remind anyone who participates about the sponsoring group and the mission impact, humanity, and meaning of its work.

With so many people spending so much time at home, it makes good sense to keep a pack of cards handy. But perhaps you are tired of your deck and want something new. In that case, you can order a gallery in 52 pieces from the nonprofit Hygienic Art Galleries in New London, Connecticut, which is fundraising through selling playing card sets featuring paintings and sketches by local artists.

The galleries started back in April, asking 54 local artists to submit original art that could fit on the back of a card. Executive Director Bess Gaby said she spent a good deal of time with each artist, making sure that the fit and look was what it should be. Many used the new medium to experiment. Some drew inspiration from the card they were assigned, and some integrated their own art with more traditional designs, but what came from it in the end was a multi-artist exhibition you can attend while playing gin rummy.

Even before the first printing, they had 2,000 preorders. Their goal is to make $10,000, selling decks at $25 apiece, and a portion of the money will go to individual unemployed artists. Original prints of each piece will also be sold.

To order a pack or two, you can go to the website.—Ruth McCambridge