On December 11, 2010, Austin Artist Roi James held a benefit fundraiser in his studio, in which half of the proceeds were to be given to the Visual Arts Programs at the McCallum Fine Arts Academy, and also KIVA.org micro financing for third-world entrepreneurship. The works on display ranged from neoclassic figurative and landscape oil paintings, to more recent abstract works, and encompassed a time frame in his career of 15 years. The paintings were reduced up to 50% in price to encourage purchases for the causes. At the end of the night, 15,500.00 had been raised with 11,500.00 going to the McCallum Fine Arts Academy's visual arts programs and 4000.00 towards KIVA.org. The artist was elated with the results and that the gift would be significant enough to make a meaningful impact on the programs they were intended for. On January 13, 2011, Roi James presented a check to the McCallum Fine Arts Academy faculty and students. The students expressed such gratitude in return and presented a large thank-you card signed by the visual arts students which will hang in his studio as a source of inspiration.
What was the inspiration for the show?
I was in the midst of doing work on clearing energy and creating flow within my life and I realized I had a great deal of paintings which I was no longer showing but were still very beautiful and marketable. I had also reached a place in my career where I felt tremendous gratitude for my success and felt a need to contribute to both the local and international community in some meaningful way. Both these elements came together in the benefit in flowing this body of work out of my studio and using part of the proceeds to give to the community.
How did you find out about McCallum Fine Arts Academy?
I was discussing my desire to do a benefit with a friend who’s daughter attends the McCallum Fine Arts Academy. She described the academy to me and I immediately felt it was a fit for what I wanted to do.
What made you choose visual arts department for such a generous gift?
I’m a visual artist so it is that part of the art world which has been so generous and giving to me. I strongly believe in rewarding the places where I experience the fruition of success. I also see creativity as an important element in everyone’s life and want to use my energy in encouraging and producing it in this world--it’s like watering a healthy plant so that it can become healthier. So in the academy, I see a place that is nurturing creativity in young people who can then experience it’s nourishment and provide it to the world. I feel grateful that McCallum has been a stand for creativity in it’s students in such a very strong way and I want to send a big “Yes” out in response to it's efforts.