Paint for a Cause

Joanne Massey is a realist painter fond of using acrylics, watercolors, and oils to create lush florals and landscapes. A fellow disciple of realism, Diane Ubelhor-Wunderlich creates watercolors that feature fauna rather than flora. Though they favor different mediums and subjects, both artists share a love of art and charity.

Six years ago, Massey and Ubelhor-Wunderlich collaborated on an acrylic and watercolor painting for an auction supporting the treatment and research of ALS, a disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Though they were good friends with similar tastes, Massey admits it was the most challenging project she ever has attempted. 

“Something that is dear to my heart will be dear to her, too,” says Massey. “We argued as girls do. We each wanted it our own way, and we laughed a lot about it,” she says. It took nearly a dozen attempts and many disagreements, but eventually they created an acrylic and watercolor piece of two elks in a sunlit meadow surrounded by wildflowers. “As artistically challenging as that was,” says Massey, “it was very rewarding to complete the painting and auction it to benefit ALS.”

The two friends have worked together again for a March 12-April 30 exhibition at the Riverwind Gallery. This time, their work benefits the Ronald McDonald House, a 10-bedroom “home away from home” for Tri-State families with critically ill children. “We both have been blessed to have healthy children and have both been touched by someone with really sick kids,” says Massey. “We know what a great refuge the Ronald McDonald House is.”

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