Sean Andersons' "Selva Flora".

Beyond dishing out some seriously stunning paintings, this weekend’s opening of Art + Bolivia at the Anderson ART Collective is offering up an event that’s nothing short of inspiring. The exhibit marks a crowning achievement for gallery co-owner/curator Sean Anderson, whose works make up the majority of Art + Bolivia, as the art on display represents a five-year-plus relationship between him and the country. Back in ’04, a then 19-year-old Anderson ventured to Bolivia with the global outreach group Educational Safaris. Together with nonprof Netzer-Brady International, the group helped to bring medical assistance to isolated Bolivian communities, and sparked in Anderson a creative streak of brilliant proportions. Check out the paintings for yourself when Art + Bolivia kicks off this Saturday, November 7, with a free opening reception from 6-9 p.m. at Carpinteria’s Anderson ART Collective (410 Palm Ave., A2). And for some background info and details about the show, read on below.

1) Getting Started: After Anderson’s inaugural trip to Bolivia, the young artist was able to score a grant from San Fran’s Academy of Art (where he was studying at the time) and art supplies from big-time retailer Utrecht to fund a return visit and a whole lot of artistic outreach. “We basically went down there to teach a little bit of art and the importance of art in the community,” Anderson explained. “We gave out pencils and pastels and paper and had the students go out and just draw, and what came back was just amazing, from plants to animals to imaginary creatures.”

2) Helping Hands: In addition to Anderson’s own works, Art + Bolivia will feature drawings from the 60 kids he taught in the small village of El Tigre, with 100 percent of the proceeds from their works going back to providing health care in the villages. Meanwhile, 30 percent of the proceeds from Anderson’s own works, which fluctuate between colorful contemporary landscapes to minimalist black-and-whites, will be donated to Netzer-Brady. “Visual art isn’t just an aesthetic pretty picture, it’s got the ability to change things and speak to people and communicate,” Anderson said. “That’s kind of our goal.”

3) Learning More: Also on hand for Saturday’s opening night event will be reps from both Educational Safaris and Netzer-Brady International, who will provide some much-needed backstory to Anderson’s creative vision. “Folks from Netzer-Brady, who are sponsored by Direct Relief International, are going to give a short presentation : then there’s a seven-minute film we’re going to screen by some of the kids who went down there. It’s a short film about the volunteers and the doctors who went down there with the project.”


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