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Kindness Blooms: Art Show & Sale on May 6

Originally Published: April 29, 2018 1:29 p.m.

On Sunday, May 6th, SedonaKind hosts a unique art show and sale titled, “Kindness Blooms,” from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Sedona Art Center. Featuring the amazing watercolor and oil paintings of renowned artist Leor Warner, the sale will be by silent auction with a “buy it now” price. There will also be an exclusive grouping of one of a kind items, also for sale. Light refreshments will be served. All sale proceeds will go to support the work of SedonaKind, whose mission is to “encourage acts of kindness, large and small, locally and around the world.”

Leor Warner was a prolific artist who exhibited his beautiful floral paintings in galleries in New York and Los Angeles. He was also a successful costume designer for the theater in New York City, and a renowned astrologer with passionate followers on both coasts. After years in Los Angeles, Leor and his life partner, James Bean, decided to move to Sedona. In 2007, en route to their dream home, Leor was killed in a car crash, and James was seriously injured. Though disabled, James completed the move to Sedona and lived out his life thanks to the loving support of the community. He passed away in 2017.

Upon his death, James gave all of Leor’s beautiful paintings to his Sedona friends. His dream was that they use any income from the art to benefit his and Leor’s passions, children and veterans. These friends had come to know and work with SedonaKind. They knew this organization would find ways to display the wonderful art and support James and Leor’s favorite causes.

SedonaKind is a local nonprofit working to spread kindness throughout local communities and around the world. They began seven years ago creating and distributing Kindness Charms. The charms are made from donated jewelry, and each has a tag saying, “Take me home and spread kindness.” To date, the SedonaKind women have distributed more than 6000 charms in every state in the USA and in 43 countries around the world. These small gifts have attracted responses from people around the country and from places as remote as China and communities in Africa.

Among their other efforts, SedonaKind women stage monthly Kindness in Schools activities. They bring entertaining kindness lessons and projects to local schoolchildren. They collaborated with the Rotary Club of Sedona to bring two national ThinkKindness programs to local schools. In 2016, the students at three Verde Valley schools completed and tracked 16,000 separate acts of kindness in two weeks. In 2017, the children from five local schools collected more than 2700 pounds of food for the Sedona Food Bank while creating and cataloging hundreds of acts of kindness.

Because of the serious lack of funding for Arizona schools, SedonaKind has turned their attention to helping teachers. For the 2018 Sedona Kindness Day project, SedonaKind will stage a fund-raiser for local teachers to help provide much-needed classroom supplies. “Our work in the Sedona schools have shown us first-hand how wonderful the children are, and how dedicated our teachers are,” said Ruti Lovitt of the Kindness in Schools project. “It’s amazing to us what these teachers can accomplish, even without the funding they need in their classrooms.”

This commitment to veterans and children brought the endowment of artwork from Leor and James to SedonaKind. Thus, the idea for the Kindness Blooms Art Show & Sale was born. In partnership with the Sedona Art Center, SedonaKind has scheduled the event to correspond to National Teacher Appreciation Week and Mother’s Day.

“This art show is not just about beautiful paintings. It’s about love, honoring a dream, the beauty of nature, and how the essence of Sedona ties all of that together,” said Jawn McKinley of SedonaKind.

To preview the art, visit the SedonaKind site at www.sedonakind.org/art-sale.html. SedonaKind is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit operating as a project of Cornucopia Community Advocates. For more information, visit CornucopiaCommunity.org.