'It breaks my heart' Local artist takes action to help homeless children with art

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Posted at 6:59 AM, Sep 20, 2020

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Local artists at Gallery 1932 are getting their paintings ready for an art show Thursday, where proceeds for the sale of the paintings will be used to help homeless children in the region.

The money raised will go towards StandUp For Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides shelter and resources for homeless children. The organization said it helped about 1,500 homeless children in 2019.

Jorge Saenz is the featured artist for this show and said he will have about 25 paintings for sale. His paintings are abstracts with a variety of mixed colors and designs.

“I think all you have to do is open your eyes to see what's happening around,” Saenz told News 3. “I think to open your heart, I think you don't need to experience something, you just need to treat others like you would want to be treated."

Saenz said he has noticed the issue of homeless youth and wanted to take action because it “breaks (his) heart.” He picked StandUp for Kids because of their dedication and work to help homeless children in Hampton Roads, he said.

"I grew up in a loving family with very loving parents, so of course I believe that's how every child should grow, but that's not the situation,” Saenz said. “I think it's up to the community to step in and help these children so they can achieve a very well-rounded lifestyle."

The price of the paintings range from $50 to as much as $900, and 15 percent of the proceeds of each sale goes to StandUp For Kids. The other artists will also sell their collection for the same benefit.

Saenz said the art show will not be live-streamed and those interested will need to come down in-person to see the paintings. The organizers are adhering to COVID-19 restrictions and will require attendees to wear face masks. Capacity in the gallery will be limited.

Gallery 1932 is located at 1932 Virginia Beach Boulevard, in Virginia Beach. The show is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.