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Vision Precedes Action

July 20, 2010

With the Gulf of Mexico flooded with up to 2.5 million gallons of oil per day since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20 – an explosion during which 11 workers lost their lives – international artist, activist and Gulf Coast native Hilary Wallis is returning to the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, the state thus far most serious affected by the disaster.

As the founder and Executive Director of Artfully AWARE (AfA), a non profit that focuses on arts education and development in vulnerable communities around the world, Hilary’s mission in the Gulf, her second long-term visit since April 20, will be twofold.

First, as an artist who has traveled and worked in nearly seventy countries and used art as a journalistic tool to inform the public about urgent issues and unite communities in times of distress, Hilary will be creating a series of fine art, museum-quality paintings depicting a new vision for our coastal communities that are suffering from the oil spill. Completed during the next several months, these paintings will be accompanied by the poetry of a local Louisiana author and will make their debut at a prestigious gallery in the heart of New Orlean’s French Quarter, from then onwards to be displayed in a traveling exhibition throughout the Gulf and beyond. Money will also be raised from the sale of prints of the paintings.

Secondly, with AfA’s previous experience running programs in the United States, the United Kingdom and Africa, Hilary’s time in the Gulf will be an opportunity for her to dialogue with local communities on the type of programs that AfA can undertake in partnership with Louisiana-based artists and instructors to help the region through this serious environmental and economic trauma.

A painter who knows the power of the arts as a means to visually educate and generate awareness of societal issues focused around community development and social activism, Hilary’s dedication to the project comes from her own deep historical and familial connections to the area.

“As Louisiana, a region with such a rich cultural and environmental heritage, is the nucleus for this terrible event, I can think of nowhere more appropriate for our work to be focused,” Hilary says.

If you or your organization is interested in more information on the topic, please feel free to contact me to set up an appointment to talk with Hilary more about her work. In the meantime, please also feel free to visit Hilary’s professional website,, or the website of Arftully AWARE,

Ezra Roth

Executive Assistant
Artfully AWARE
Sustainable Empowerment Through The Arts

+1 612. 701. 4675

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 1, 2010 5:45 am

    Ezra and Hilary, I would like to talk with you, Hillary, about your Louisiana project and see if there’s any way Unity Trhough Creativity can give you support. I can’t wait to see the paintings. I’ll spread the word on my network. All the best, laurie

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