Colorful cranes to brighten someone’s day
Cranes on Parade proceeds to help Kearney Dawn Rotary
Reprinted from Kearney HUB
Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 12:49 pm | Updated: 12:49 pm, Tue Mar 1, 2016.
By RICK BROWN
Hub Staff Writer
KEARNEY — Rivkah Addy-Raffaeli stepped away from creating art after a family tragedy.
“My little sister died in a car accident three years ago,” she said. “Her husband and her 11-month-old baby got hurt. I’ve been taking care of my niece with my other sister for the past few years.”
Raffaeli chose to work part time as an art teacher at Kenwood Elementary because of her added responsibilities.
“I hadn’t done any art on my own for three years,” she said. “I used to make art all the way up until my sister’s death. After that, I was utterly depressed.”
Raffaeli stood next to her crane, “Fashion’s Flight,” during the Cranes on Parade Big Reveal Monday at The World Theatre and enjoyed the sense of accomplishment. An additional 13 cranes completed the display, which was presented by Kearney Dawn Rotary.
“This is the first thing I’ve done that the community can see, where I have expressed myself,” Raffaeli said.
Creating public art is not new to the 29-year-old teacher and artist. Raffaeli contributed a crane to the first Cranes on Parade project when she was 17 years old.
Because of her desire to get beyond the death of her sister, Raffaeli decided to use bold, expressive colors.
“I decided to make it a little wild and crazy,” she said.
The third collection of Cranes on Parade will be sold at auction at 7 p.m. March 12 at the Museum of Nebraska Art. Susan Bigg, co-chair with Tami James Moore, said the auction of the artwork will help Kearney Dawn Rotary fund six groups in central Nebraska as well as two international causes.
“We’re excited to raise a lot of money so these groups will have some extra money to operate with,” Bigg said. “We want to sell these pieces for a nice sum. They are well-worth it. Our artists have put a lot of work into all of the pieces.”
The main pieces of artwork feature fiberglass blanks created by Kearney artist Martha Pettigrew. Those cranes measure about 6 feet tall. A series of study cranes and other artwork will also be sold at the auction on March 12. Tickets to that event are $25.
“One thing we did differently this time was to go into the schools and have the students help design a crane egg,” Bigg said. “High school students did a small study crane. They did an amazing job as did the honor students at the university. They all did a great job.”
Bigg sees the event as a threefold benefit to the community: The community receives many pieces of public art, the artists gain experience and funds raised from the sale of the artwork benefit community groups.
Cranes on Parade also helps to promote Kearney as the crane capital of the world.
“The great thing about public art is that for people who don’t often go to a museum, they can also see art in the community,” she said. “They can appreciate some fun elements of art.”
Bigg encouraged community members to participate in the auction.
“We’d like people who can afford to do it to buy a crane or get a group of people together to do it,” she said. “They can donate a crane to the new vet’s home or donate a crane to some of the nonprofits who are visible in the community to help promote their organizations.”
Bigg confessed that she had many favorites among the pieces of artwork in Cranes on Parade III, although she balked at naming one specific piece of art.
“I love them all,” she finally said.
Raffaeli hopes her crane has an effect on the community.
“I hope it ends up in a place where people who appreciate color can see it,” she said. “I hope it will brighten somebody’s day, somebody who is walking down the sidewalk feeling a little depressed or sad.”
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