John’s Crazy Socks is joining an effort by Inclusiv-tee, a Minnesota-based Public Benefit Corporation, to bring hope and a sense of community into the pandemic. The initiative is called Artists Who Share: An Auction to Support Coronavirus Recovery. The auction will feature work from more than 40 established and new artists from six countries.
“Artists Who Share is a fun, inspiring way to discover new artists, contribute to our shared recovery, and obtain some beautiful art. It is also a reminder that we are better, more creative, stronger, and more interesting together,” said Inclusiv-tee Founder Lori Myren-Manbeck.
John Cronin of Huntington, New York, who has Down Syndrome, is one of the American artists participating in the auction. John submitted several beautiful symbols, which are now being used by other auction participants to create collaborative art. Artist have turned John’s flower symbol into a design for a tote bag and a quilting square.
“I am so excited to support Artists Who Share,” said John. “I created a piece of art for the auction as a way of making a difference”
John and his father, Mark X. Cronin, co-founded John’s Crazy Socks. In addition to providing financial support for the project, John’s Crazy Socks will create a special sock for the auction, which will be given to everyone who donates at least $40.
Artists come from a variety of backgrounds; represent different ethnic groups, ages, sexual orientations, and gender identities; and bring diverse perspectives to their work. Artists range in age from 8 to 91. Mediums includes watercolor, acrylic, oil, and encaustic painting, charcoal, needlework, quilting, photography, drawing, fabric painting, and applique. Actress Sharon Stone is donating her first-ever painting, which she created during the pandemic, a beautiful paint-by-number flower. Netia Worley, a 91-year-old professional artist from Iowa, is donating two pieces, including a new work designed specifically for the auction.
In addition to bidding on the art, participants can donate directly to fundraising. Twenty-five percent of money collected will go to the artists and seventy-five percent will go to nonprofits working on coronavirus recovery. Nonprofits include The United Way, as well as smaller organizations such as 1Love/1Mission, whose mission is supporting people experiencing homelessness in Minneapolis, and Corporación Pazifistas in Colombia, whose mission is “feeding the present and building the future.”
Myren-Manbeck expressed excitement and a sense of purpose when talking about the auction. “We believe that recovery efforts and collaboration should go beyond borders. We also believe that embracing our diversity, working together, and including everyone is key to a happier, more successful future. To honor these beliefs, we are excited to announce two specific international partners in Artists Who Share. First, the Creative Business Masterclass at NHL Stenden University in Leeuwarden, Netherlands is organizing a competition through which artists will be chosen and work submitted to Artists Who Share. We are excited to work with these young artists.”
“Second, we are working with community artists in Commune 13 in Medellin, Columbia, who will be submitting their work digitally. Commune 13 is a neighborhood in Medellin going through a significant renaissance and we are excited to share their story.” Myren-Manbeck added that Melanie Israel, a textile artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Shedrack Musyok, an award-winning artist from Nukuru, Kenya, and Etto (Joana Sousa) from the United Kingdom are also submitting art for the auction.
Among the American artists are:
- Cora Kromer, Centuria, WI (Charcoal)
- Darlene Maahs Bagley, WI (Quilting)
- John Cronin, NY (Digital)
- Lexee Crystal Harris, Valley Village, CA (Digital)
- Cris Hamilton Santa Barbara, CA (Watercolor)
- Carrie Goller Poulsbo, WA (Encoustic Painting)
- Jen Colburn Bainbridge Island, WA (Graphic Design)
- Volta Voloshin-Smith, Dallas, TX (Acrylic)
- Bonnie Graham, Durham, NC (Watercolor, Glitter)
- Barbara Rocas, Charlotte, N.C. (Acrylic paint)
- Ashlee Birckhead, Edenton, N.C. (Watercolor, Acrylic, Markers)
- Linda Myren, Grinnell, IA (Needlepoint)
- Netia Worley, Grinnell, IA (Mixed Media)
- James (Jim) Boggs Gilman, IA (Pencil sketch)
- Lily Matteson Morton Grove, IL (Acrylics)
- Arden Lapin Glencoe, IL (Graphic design)
- Tracey Peer, Palm Beach, FL (Oil)
- Arielle Lopez, Boynton Beach, FL (Acrylic paint)
- Renée C. Gage, Alexandria, VA (Photography)
- Lynn Caron, Bronx, NY (Pen and Ink)
- Joe LaBlanche Wausau WI mixed media
- Emily Engelhard, Minneapolis (Watercolors)
- Thien Nguyen, Minneapolis (Photography)
- Sun The Pisces, Minneapolis (Graphics)
- Sydnney Islam, Minneapolis (Photography Mixed Media)
- Ta-coumba Aiken, Saint Paul (Acrylic paint)
- Kelly Anderson, Lakeville (Acrylic Paint)
- Chris Harrison, Brooklyn Park (Acrylic paint)
- Summer Sasarita, Hopkins (Applique)
- Raymond Caron, Eden Prairie (Acrylic paints)
- Lori Myren-Manbeck, Eden Prairie (Photography)
- Dawn Carlson Conn, Maple Grove (Painting and sewing on fabric)
- Becky Haaf, Shoreview (Quilting)
- Sanya Pirani, Prior Lake (Painting)
- Lynette Yencho Owatonna, MN (Paint and sewing on fabric)
Myren-Manbeck said, “Please follow the auction, whether you want to bid on an original piece of art, donate to the cause, or just write down the names of the artists and enjoy the beautiful images. We are sure you will not be disappointed.”
For more information, please visit https://inclusivi-tee.com/artists-who-share.
About John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise built on four pillars:
- Inspiration and Hope: We hire people with differing abilities, share videos to show what people can do, host school tours and school groups that come for work experience. We want the world to see what people with differing abilities can do.
- Giving Back: We donate 5 percent of our earnings to the Special Olympics and raise money through our Sock of the Month Club and charity and awareness socks for our charity partners like Autism Speaks, the Autism Society of America, the National Down Syndrome Society, and the Williams Syndrome Association. We have raised more than $325,000 for our charity partners and publish a monthly Giving Back Report.
- Socks You Can Love: We have over 2,000 different socks plus a Sock of the Month Club, gift boxes and gift bags. And our selection is matched by our customer service: Most customers receive their socks within two days of ordering.
- Making It Personal: Every package gets a thank-you note from John and some candy.