Fine artist Seamus Berkeley will host an Open Studio on 22 January 2014, 4pm-7pm, showcasing Portraits of Family House: a non-profit collaboration with Family House Inc. San Francisco. All portraits will benefit Family House Inc. which provides temporary housing for families with a child seeking treatment for a life threatening illness at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.
Assistant to Seamus Berkeley
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BAY AREA ARTIST CELEBRATES CHANGE OF COURSE WITH OPEN STUDIO FEATURING PORTRAITS OF FAMILY HOUSE
Berkeley, California – Fine artist Seamus Berkeley surges forth into 2014 with more portraits in the works to add to his Portraits of Family House collection in honor of families with sick children staying at Family House Inc., San Francisco.
Berkeley will host an Open Studio on Wednesday, January 22 from 4pm-7pm (see address below) to introduce the in-progress paintings and to talk about his experiences working with the people at Family House.
All oil portraits will be gifted to Family House, where two properties with apartment style rooms with communal living areas offer a temporary refuge for families with a child facing a life threatening illness seeking treatment at UCSF Benioff Children’s hospital.
“What you’ve got here is intense chaos, and amidst intense chaos is significant joy; at least significant caring, that’s what it is” said Berkeley of his many visits to Family House, after getting to know the children, parents and employees who bring the homes to life. “The thing of doing the paintings is not just to preserve, but to bring this whole topic to more people.”
With four finished portraits, and nine studies next in line – not to mention three grown children of his own – his willingness to generate more art for Family House lies in the project’s poignancy: working with and for children facing life threatening illnesses at such a crucially vulnerable, young age.
“If we would only take this thing that goes on here, because it’s crisis, and live with it on a daily basis, we might have a little bit more caring for one another on a regular basis” Berkeley explained. “This is worth reflecting upon, taking a look at, because it…changes a little bit of what it means to be alive, I think.”
This portrait series celebrates the spirit of Family House: the people who make it a comfortable home away from home during desperate times. During his visits to the houses, Seamus invites any employees, parents or children to meet with him; he listens to their stories, then gets to work creating their portrait.
The series will end up in the hands of Family House Inc., whether as symbols of support adorning the walls, as advertising materials to garner support, or at auction to raise money, the paintings will be reminders of the children who were brought to UCSF to fight for their lives, and the people who made that journey just a little bit more bearable.
The Open Studio will be hosted at Berkeley Fine Art Studio, 933 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710