Birds of a feather
Kimberly Hocking, the director and curator of Greenly, presented a donation of $699.14 to South Bay Wildlife Rehab (SBWR), another nonprofit dedicated to caring for California native birds and educating the public about the natural world. Christina Jones, SBWR assistant director, accepted the check on behalf of the organization.
Hocking said Greenly had pre-selected the bird-rescue organization to be the benefactor of the gallery’s first-ever fundraising exhibit.
“At Greenly Art Space, we value community and look for ways to partner with other nonprofits to encourage awareness through the arts,” Hocking said. “For our first annual fundraising art show, we wanted to explore the concept of birds and the ways they inspire us. As part of this, we invited South Bay Wildlife Rehab, a local nonprofit working to rescue birds, to join us at the opening and share their work with the community. They brought three beautiful rescue birds to the opening. We are thrilled to have been able to raise both funds and awareness for such a wonderful cause.”
Each year, SBWR rehabilitates more than 1,000 sick, injured and orphaned birds for return to the wild and educates over 30,000 individuals about wildlife and environmental issues, according to the group’s website.
“The opening was a very exciting event for us,” Jones said. “By partering with Greenly Art Space, we were able to meet many individuals who weren’t aware of our organization and what we do.”
She said the monetary contribution will be used for some basic needs of her organization.
“One hundred percent of all money received to South Bay Wildlife Rehab goes to the direct care of birds we take in,” she said. “It would include helping us with paying for food and medical care.”
State of the art
The other honor Greenly bestowed that evening was to Cory Bilicko, managing editor of the Signal Tribune. Each week, Bilicko features a different local artist in the newspaper, publishing a feature story or interview with the creative individual, as well as highlighting one of the artist’s works on the front page as the background image for the publication’s nameplate.
“We are very excited to present the First Annual Greenly Art Space Fellowship Award to Cory Bilicko for outstanding service to artists in our community,” Hocking said. “At Greenly, we value building community among artists by encouraging them in their calling. Through his work featuring artists from our community, Cory is an example of what it means to honor the work of local artists. Cory’s work with the Signal Tribune newspaper to present art and artists in color with attention to artistic detail is commendable and does credit to the artists’ craft.”
Bilicko has been featuring artists on the newspaper’s front page since June 24, 2011.
“It was the proverbial necessity giving birth to invention,” Bilicko said. “We wanted an image for the front-page nameplate that was colorful– and legal to use. What better way to ensure you’re using an image that is copyright-safe than to use one of your own.”
That week, the newpaper published a close-up of a painting of dragonflies that Bilicko had done for his very first art show, which had just occurred three weeks prior. That painting, entitled “Aflutter,” also happened to be the very first piece he’d sold.
“Of course, I wasn’t going to feature my own work every week, and I wondered, ‘How can I make this work so that it has real value and benefit to the greatest number of people?’ Then the idea came to me that this could be a vehicle for promoting local artists,” he said. “I had learned the power of supporting creative individuals from my grandmother, who, anytime I would draw something, would say, ‘Oh, hon. This is beautiful.’ And she’d put it on her fridge with a magnet. That made me feel special, and it certainly encouraged me to foster my creative spirit.”
Bilicko says that, since the Signal Tribune has been profiling a different painter, illustrator, muralist, ceramicist, sculptor, mosaicist, jewelry maker or tattooer each week for two years and nine months, to date, about 140 artists have graced the pages of the newspaper.
“I thank our publisher, Neena Strichart, for trusting me and allowing me the freedom to pursue such an endeavor, and our design editor, Leighanna Nierle, for helping me make sure the artists’ works look good when we publish them,” Bilicko said.
Included in Greenly’s award to Bilicko were: a framed, handmade mosaic piece that Hocking created; a $50 gift certificate to a local art-supply store; a yearlong membership to Greenly; and the opportunity to co-curate an exhibit with Hocking based on Bilicko’s own concept.
Sources: Greenly Art Space, SBWR