Three Memphis artists are using their creativity to showcase their talents and help others. Author Alice Faye Duncan, "green" artist Frank D. Robinson Jr. and graphic designer Terry L. Griffin have collaborated to produce the first issue of the World Wall Calendar.
The 2014 Word calendar, which sells for $7, is now available online at www.museumcreations.com. One dollar of each calendar sold through January will benefit Caritas Village, where Frank Robinson serves as artist-in-residence. Copies of the calendar signed by Robinson are also available.
Duncan conceived the idea and identified the empowering words and Bible verses assigned to each month. Robinson illustrated all of the words and artwork. (And yes, he did it all on recycled cardboard from his Binghampton studio.) Griffin, a branding consultant and 19-year veteran of the Memphis design community, designed the calendar, creating a very sleek black and white presentation.
The cover bears the word "Hope" – painted by Robinson on the back of recycled paper from student classroom artwork. The art for each month features a single verb. "Hope" is also the word for January.
"We want to encourage a spiritual reaction," said Duncan. "For instance, the verb for February is "love" for Valentine's Day and for Brotherhood Month. The encouraging word for July is "create." September is "forgive."'
A children's book author with Simon & Schuster book publishers since 1995, she says that while the three artists are waiting on corporate decision-makers to approve their various projects, they are helping others, like Caritas Village.
And they are helping themselves by remaining creative and doing an artistic joint venture, namely the Word Wall Calendar.
At first, Duncan just wanted to publish a few calendars to give away as Christmas gifts. But one day while visiting Caritas Village for lunch, she had another idea. Caritas Village is an urban help center that provides free medical care to Binghampton residents without health insurance. A part of its campus also serves as a café.
As she sat at lunch and witnessed disparate economies and cultures unite over soup, Duncan reasoned that it would be more helpful to sell the calendar for a small fee and donate $1 of each purchase to support Caritas in its ministry to help the sick and hungry.
She knew Robinson from her college days at the University of Memphis. She knew Griffin from childhood when they attended Sunday school at St. James AME church. Robinson jumped at the opportunity to help because as a self-employed artist, he knows the benefits of free medical care at Caritas Village. Griffin was quick to help because the center often serves as his office away from home.
So far, the calendar has raised $500 in donations. Onie Johns, director and founder of Caritas Village, said, "It is good to see artists use their talents to be a blessing to others. The center can't do this work alone."