Art sales to benefit mental health services

Following the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Grand Junction artist Kristian Hartter wondered what little he could do about such a colossal tragedy.

He considered sending money to Connecticut, but quickly learned many others were doing the same thing. Besides, the need for healing there was greater than the need for money, he decided. He decided to address a root issue in many mass shootings — mental health.

Hartter will donate 75 percent of sales made at this week’s First Friday event at his +1 Gallery to local mental health services. The event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the gallery’s Alpine Bank building location, 225 N. Fifth St., No. 215. Work from at least five artists will be for sale, including photographs from Hartter’s own collection, paintings, ceramics, origami earrings and fiber arts.

While he doesn’t expect to raise enough money to solve all mental health needs in the community, Hartter said he looks forward to making some impact. He wants the event to raise awareness about mental health services and their availability in the community.  “Ideally money wouldn’t be a problem” in seeking mental health help, he said.

Hartter said he is unsure who all will receive donations from the event. After reaching out to a few local agencies, he had heard back from one — Marillac Clinic — as of Monday and expects at least Marillac will benefit from the event.


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