There’s a story behind every work of art and one of the art pieces by well-known Haitian painter Fritz Rock, up for auction at this year’s Boca Grande event, tells the tale of generosity and hope.
Rock was a visual artist who was born in Port-au-Prince in 1944. He started to paint under the influence of Casimir Laurent and is known for his market scenes. His style was influenced by the circular forms of the late famous Haitian artist Petion Savain and by Casimir’s sense of populous known as “the egg people’ that is still being copied by many contemporary Haitian artists today. Rock died in 1976.
But before he died, one of Rock’s works ended up in the hands of Florida couple, Paul and Lorraine Hiznay, who visited the Caribbean country in 1976. While strolling along in one of the markets, the image of four women dressed in pops of purple and red caught the couple’s eye and they purchased the painting.
Now after 41 years, the Hiznays, new found friends of Ben and Louise Scott have donated the painting as an auction item for the Boca Grande Hope For Haitians annual cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception at the Gasparilla Inn Beach Club in Boca Grande, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 at 6 p.m.
“The Hiznays checked with an art dealer in Naples who was aware of this artist’s work and valued the painting between $500 and $700,” said Scott. “We are very thankful for their generous donation, which is a perfect addition with the rest of the art collection that’s up for auction.”
The fundraising goal for the upcoming event is 50 homes, and with the housing match that would equal 100 new homes. “A Home for the Holidays” fundraiser sponsored by the Rotary Club in Piqua, Ohio, in December raised enough for 30 homes giving Boca Grande an early start on its total fundraising goal of 130 homes for families in Haiti.
“One’s creativity should never be defined by the economic conditions of their homeland. There are so many gifted artists who represent a variety of genres who have come out of Haiti,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “It’s nice to see Fritz Rock’s painting come full circle. The idea of the image was conceived in Haiti and now it’s up for auction and the proceeds from the painting will be used to help families in Haiti.”
The theme for this year’s event is “Rebuilding Haiti, One Brick at a Time.” Committee members include: Chairpersons Ben and Louise Scott, the Rev. Gary Beatty, the Rev. Jerome Carosella, the Rev. Michelle Robertshaw, the Rev. Matthew M. Williams, Henry and Ginny Bryant, George and Lois Castrucci, Patricia Chapman, Charlie and Florita Field, Lou and Corie Fusz, Stephen and Susan Jansen, Mick and Susan Johnson, Tom and Nancy Lorden, Colvin and Madelaine McCrady, and Peter and Elsa Soderberg. Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America.
This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. Over the last 10 years, fundraising and other administrative costs averaged less than five percent of our expenses; more than 95 percent of all donations went directly to programs that help the poor. For more information visit foodforthepoor.org.