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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Religion

Young artist raising money for homeless with painting

By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

Liberty Lake artist and Selkirk Middle School seventh-grader Sindhu Surapaneni has come up with a way to connect Valentine’s Day and Black History Month with her newest painting titled “Everyone is Loved.”

The 30-by-40-inch canvas features a map of the world in the shape of a heart, with a profile view of a human face in the foreground. The face is itself made up with human profiles, each a different color.

“It’s not just Black History Month,” Surapaneni said. “It’s just in general to spread awareness of diversity.”

She’s working to sell the original painting and three canvas prints and hopes that some of it will be displayed in school to help spread her message of inclusion to students.

“School should be a public place where they should be included,” she said. “Every child should feel valued and loved.”

Surapaneni said she feels like the pandemic has divided people and she hopes her work can help bridge that gap and make people feel accepted and valued.

“We’re all entitled to our opinion, but we should respect each other’s opinion,” she said. “My art represents diversity and inclusion and empathy.”

Her art has been recognized for its message of inclusion. Last fall she was nominated for a Spokane Arts Award for inclusion. Last spring she was named a “Student Star” in the Duke University Talent Identification Program magazine for one of her drawings.

The artist often uses the proceeds from her art to benefit organizations that help the homeless. Last year she donated $4,000 in proceeds from her art, including art lessons she hosted on Facebook Live, to Blessings Under the Bridge. The organization hosts a weekly meal for the homeless each Wednesday and provides other assistance to those in need.

This year, she plans to donate 80% of the proceeds from her art to Giving Backpacks, an organization that provides backpacks full of food, toiletries, socks and other items to the homeless

.

The asking price for the “Everyone is Loved” canvas is $999, with $555 requested for each of the three prints. Surapaneni said she is hoping local businesses will buy them and perhaps donate them to a school.

“Not all schools can afford that, but a business could buy it and donate it,” she said.

Those interested in purchasing the art can contact Surapaneni through her web site at imaginations2creation.org or on Facebook.

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