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Jonah’s gift will help arts centre through lean times

After Bermuda Arts Centre in Dockyard waved goodbye to its last tourists for the summer season, the gallery was gearing up for the slow winter months ahead.

But thanks to a warm-hearted donation from artist Jonah Jones, the centre is able to continue its important work in the arts community.

Mr Jones recently took part in an arduous charity ride from Turin, Italy to Monte Carlo on September 4 to 11. He then created a commemorative painting of the adventure that was up for sale in a silent auction online.

In the end he was able to raise $3,250 from the sale of the painting, which was split between cancer charity PALS and the Bermuda Arts Centre in Dockyard.

Heidi Cowen, the gallery's administrator, said she was thankful to have studio artists, like Mr Jones, who care enough to raise funds that help the centre through its lean months.

She said: “It's hard being a charity right now, particularly in this economic climate, so when we heard Jonah was going out to do that we thought it was amazing.

“It also comes to us at a time when we are going into the slow season and it's certainly helpful.”

December is usually a good time for the gallery. They are open every day, still have new exhibits each month and sell arts and crafts to a loyal fan base of local supporters for the holidays.

But then business goes “down hill” in January, February and March.

“After the New Year, we don't have the same traffic and the Christmas spirit is gone by then,” Ms Cowen said.

“What I have found is that art is one of the first things that suffers and art is the thing most people have to be feeling good to buy. You also have to have a couple of extra dollars in your pocket to afford it, so we are finding that more and more hard.”

She continued: “Being a charity we have to raise money to try and keep our programmes going throughout the other months until we get going again. And thanks to Jonah's donation, which may not seem like a lot considering his paintings usually garner a lot of attention, for us it's giant.”

Anne Smith-Gordon, of PALS, said the donation would also help her organisation ease the burden for cancer patients battling the disease.

She said: “We would like to congratulate Jonah on the success of his epic ride and silent auction of his fabulous painting ‘Cycle of Life'.

“Jonah has supported PALS for many years with the sale of his wonderful paintings and we are so grateful to him for choosing PALS as one of the recipients of his latest efforts.

“Last year we admitted 138 patients to our service and averaging ten new patients a month and PALS expenses are now $118,000 per month. We are ever grateful for any donation to help us in our mission to care for those cancer patients in Bermuda who need our assistance.”

Mr Jones has also produced some 16” x 20” individually signed posters, which are available for $45. They can be seen and purchased online at www.jonah-art.com.

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Published November 19, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated November 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm)

Jonah’s gift will help arts centre through lean times

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