The freedom of speech and expression are critical components to art, which are just a few of the reasons Park West Gallery is proud to support those who fight to protect those freedoms.
The Delaware Military Support Organization held its annual fundraiser auction on April 28, where Park West artwork was auctioned off to aid members of the military and their families.
Formed in 2013 by military veteran William “Bill” Hare, the DMSO supports the health, welfare, and morale of active-duty military, guard, and reserves and their families in Delaware, regardless of what military branch they serve.
DMSO allows only one type of business per industry when seeking sponsorships. In the case of fine art, Hare turned to Park West Gallery for this year’s auction fundraiser. As a VIP collector with Park West, Hare knew of the gallery’s willingness to support non-profit organizations.
Park West contributed 10 works of art for the auction, including artwork by renowned artists like Peter Max, Thomas Kinkade, and Norman Rockwell.
“We rose just over $19,000 and the art was a big part of that,” Hare says.
The organization is looking into auctioning the additional artwork during a fall fundraiser. Hare acknowledged the high level of interest in the Park Wet art—there was even an offer made on a work from his own personal collection.
“I had someone that wanted to buy my Peter Max, ‘Land of the Free Home of the Brave’ mixed media, and I said that was mine,” Hare says.
He may not have been willing to part with his patriotic Max art, but it was Hare’s generosity that originally led to the forming of the DMSO. The seed of the idea started years ago, when Hare dressed up as Santa Claus to bring cheer to local families during the holiday season. While visiting the Dover Air Force Base one Christmas season, a little girl asked him for a Barbie doll.
“Her mom was shaking her head ‘no’ and waving at me. Come to find out the husband had been deployed, and where she worked they wouldn’t change her hours, so she had to quit her job,” Hare says. “I said, ‘This isn’t right,’ so I started this organization.”
In addition to the DMSO, Park West Gallery’s support of the military has included working with the “Military Makeover” television show and contributing to Troops Need Love Too. Many Park West artists also actively support military organizations, like Wounded Warriors and the Gary Sinese Foundation.