Internationally renowned 3D pop artist Charles Fazzino owns the 3D Studio Gallery on State Street, and as he saw the pandemic hurt local businesses and the community, he saw an opportunity to help.
The artist released a 3D fine art edition titled “This Soon Shall Pass,” a vibrant, positive piece that calls for hope during COVID-19 times.
Mr. Fazzino pledged to donate the proceeds to COVID relief worldwide, and he has successfully raised $40,000 so far.
Now he has his sights set on his Unity Shoppe campaign, where he hopes to raise $12,000 for a new refrigerator/freezer for the food distribution service, whose demand has heavily increased since the pandemic.
The 3D artist kickstarted the fundraiser with a $2,500 donation directly from his relief fund, and with every “This Soon Shall Pass” piece sold, he will donate an additional $400 to the campaign.
“I really wanted to feel in touch with the community and try to do something,” Mr. Fazzino told the News-Press. “That’s why we’d like to include the Unity Shoppe, because they’ve been such an integral part in helping Santa Barbara. I understand they can really use it.”
He said that while he was working on the piece, he tried to incorporate the countries hardest hit by the virus, and send an uplifting message to those areas.
“The piece is supposed to be about a celebration of hope, that soon we’ll be able to kiss and hug and travel again is a real message, and it’s still true today,” he said. “It’s a metaphor for how we feel and how people should feel about how we can overcome this horrible part of our history.”
The proceeds not only help the Santa Barbara community, but 25 countries around the world in which Mr. Fazzino has exhibited and sold his work.
“When the crisis started, there were about 25,000 people unemployed locally. Everything just hit all at once,” Tom Reed, the executive director of Unity Shoppe, told the News-Press. “When a pandemic breaks out, job insecurity and food insecurity becomes very, very real.”
Unity Shoppe, under normal circumstances, has 1,700 to 1,800 volunteers. However, the danger of spreading the virus among staff was too risky, so the organization repurposed all its employees to focus on food distribution.
“Our food operation has expanded dramatically, so we so appreciate 3D Studios and we hope people enjoy the artwork knowing it benefits Unity Shoppe in a real need,” Mr. Reed said.
Julie Maner, the director of business affairs at Museum Editions Ltd., said this isn’t the first time Mr. Fazzino has used his work to lift up communities.
After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the artist released a limited edition piece and raised $50,000 to $60,000 for the fireman’s fund and other 9/11 funds.
“His mind immediately turned toward, ‘What can I do? How can I help?’” Ms. Maner told the News-Press. “(There’s the) the fact that he is internationally renowned and doing this to raise funds for COVID relief all over the world, and part of his focus is local in the Santa Barbara community. …They (Unity Shoppe) do an awful lot in Santa Barbara to alleviate food insecurity.”
The 11- by 7.5-inch image, hand-signed by Mr. Fazzino, sells for $575, and $400 will go to the Unity Shoppe for every piece sold. Visit hwww.fazzino.com/gallery/cityscape-art/this-too-shall-pass to view the piece online and see purchasing information. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, referencing the code “UNITY,” or call 805-895-6476 to arrange viewing the artwork in person at the gallery.