The Recorder – Artist and daughter raise $500 for Ukraine by selling ornaments
BERNARDSTON – After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Leverett artist Susan Mulholland and her daughter, Christie Shippa, hatched a plan to help the beleaguered country, making and selling wooden ornaments for a minimum donation of $5 at Hillside Pizza in Bernardston.
A particularly memorable pair of donors, Shippa recalled, made the effort all the more worthwhile.
“There were these two men who came in, and after their lunch they came over and told me they were from Ukraine and they really liked the gesture we were doing,” said Shippa, who works at Hillside Pizza for almost 10 years. “They bought two (ornaments) and shook our hands and left.”
Each wooden ornament has been painted to depict a sunflower, the national flower of Ukraine, on one side and a heart in blue and yellow, the colors of Ukraine’s flag, on the back. All proceeds from ornament sales support World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization that provides meals to people affected by disasters. With Mulholland and Shippa having sold all of the approximately 100 ornaments they created, they raised $500.
Amy White, owner of Hillside Pizza with her husband, Craig, said how important the fundraiser was as it raised awareness of the war in Ukraine and its impact.
“He keeps it in people’s minds and hearts,” White commented. “So if nothing else, maybe they are praying for Ukraine or for peace, or are they becoming more concerned about the suffering of innocent victims of violence, which is happening everywhere. So the consequence of to do something like that is immeasurable.
Mulholland has been an artist since the 1970s. She majored in art at Connecticut College and sold her art in Mexico, where she lived for a year after graduating and getting married.
“I was selling screen-printed stuff that I printed in our bedroom in Mexico,” she said.
Now in Franklin County, Mulholland sold her work to local galleries such as Leverett Crafts & Arts and the Sawmill River Arts Gallery, where she sold note cards, matted and framed prints, T-shirts and scarves. She also worked in a gallery in Northampton for eight years.
Mulholland has also used his works to help with other fundraisers, such as supporting the Dakin Humane Society, as well as offering pieces for silent auctions and donation tables at various New England shows. , where she will offer a silk scarf or t-shirt. His main interest now is painting.
“I started doing animal portraits,” she added.
Shippa, taking inspiration from his mother, used to raise money for the 4-H club by selling his own paintings.
“I would love to do a little more art,” Shippa noted, “and I think when my kids get a little older it will be easier to do more.”
With the holidays approaching, White said Hillside Pizza could host an artist challenge, which would include artwork by Mulholland, Shippa and other local artists, to help raise money for a cause in their choice.
“We’re going to keep going, project after project after project,” Shippa said. “Even though it’s not Ukraine (which we support), I’m more than happy to make art.”