"Altruistic Artists Show their True Colours"- Shave an Artist, Shave for a Cure

After our 'Shave an Artist' event in February 2009. Photo courtesy of Amelia Jacobsen

It's been 4 years since I did my shave with the fantastic event 'Shave an Artist.'

There were 13 of us artists doing the big shave to support the Leukaemia and Blood Foundation.

You can be a shavee too, visit shaveforacure.co.nz and start getting sponsorship for this year's shave week which runs from 4 – 10 March 2013.

I remember going bald was a powerful conversation starter, helped by the fact that I'm female. Money was raised and hopefully it also changed some people's attitudes about the appearance of those who go through chemotherapy.

Here's a look at the 'Shave an Artist' fundraiser we came up with back in 2009, which raised $20,000...


"Altruistic Artists Show their True Colours"

Article by Linda Willems
Issue 36 of LifeBlood Magazine
A dazzling array of canvases was snapped up by art lovers at a very special charity auction in aid of the Leukaemia & Blood Foundation (LBF).

Shavee artists Jennifer Christiansen and Juliet Cryns

And while the works went under the hammer, the 13 artists who created them bravely went under the razor and lost their locks in a fundraising head shave.

The February 3rd 2009 event, at Takapuna’s Bruce Mason Centre, was a great success and the NZ Art Guild members involved raised more than $20,000 for the LBF.

And half of that total was raised by top NZ artist, Sofia Minson, who dreamt up the innovative ‘Shave an Artist’ fundraiser.

Sofia Minson post-shave, on stage as her painting 'African Paean' went under the hammer

Sofia says: “A friend of mine had decided to do the LBF’s Shave for a Cure and that’s what gave me the idea. I thought this is something I would really like to do, but I was keen to make it personally significant, with an art angle.”

Sofia approached NZ Art Guild Manager, Sophia Elise “who took on most of the organising”, and between them they developed the concept.

Artworks auctioned on the night

They were delighted with the number of guild members willing to donate work and shave, while others were keen to take part in a month-long art exhibition at the Bruce Mason Centre, which followed the auction.

Sofia says: “We chose the theme Life because we felt it could be interpreted in so many ways and ‘life’ was what we were trying to support.”

Sofia was the first to have her head shaved, followed by 18 others. The artists included Jennifer Christiansen, Marimba Powley, Helen Sherrock, Sharlene Shcmidt, Juliet Cryns and Victoria Anderson and they were joined by friends and members of the public.

North Shore City mayor Andrew Williams bid $200 to win the right to shave Rodney Hide's hair - a very quick job!

In addition, North Shore City Mayor Andrew Williams, who officially opened the event, won an opportunity with a bid of $200 to shave MP Rodney Hide's head.

Greenhithe abstract artist, Victoria Anderson, discovered some of the people sponsoring her shave had family members with cancer.

She says: “One woman sponsored me quite a lot. Her husband died of leukaemia. Another sponsor is undergoing chemo, which I found quite fitting really.

“It helped me to overcome any fears I had about shaving. I loved the whole experience and have received very positive responses from everyone. I only wish the people who lose their hair due to chemotherapy could feel the same. ”

Jennifer Christiansen dedicated her shave to two friends, Wayne Brewer and Jason Hohneck, who both passed away from cancer within two months of each other in 2007.

“I was so honoured to have Wayne’s mum and sister surprise me on the night, as they came to show their support. After speaking to them I remembered why I was there and realised that losing my hair was such a small price to pay for such an awesome cause."

The Shavees from 'Shave an Artist' 2009

The 'Shave an Artist' crowd cheered on the shavees and bid on artworks to raise $20,000

Four of the shavees at 'Shave an Artist'

Great turn-out of supporters, shave sponsors and art auction bidders



Click to enlarge Leukaemia & Blood Foundation's Winter 2009 LifeBlood Magazine article on Shave an Artist

Posted by artist Sofia Minson from NewZealandArtwork.com
New Zealand Maori portrait and landscape oil paintings


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