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ChildFund, VCU Art Students, Faculty to Auction Wearable Global Art

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Contact: Cynthia Price, 804-756-2722

Richmond, Va. – May 11, 2011 – Virginia Commonwealth University fashion students found global inspiration and are now raising funds to help vulnerable children in the countries that inspired them.

Students in VCU&rsqo;s Global Wearable Art Class – along with faculty members – researched countries where ChildFund International works, including Ecuador, Thailand, Belarus, Vietnam, Guatemala, Mexico, Philippines, Uganda and Zambia. ChildFund is an international child development organization headquartered in Richmond.

They found design inspiration and each created a custom unique piece of wearable art. The pieces, including jewelry, clothing and accessories, will be auctioned on May 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Reynolds Gallery. The evening will include a juried fashion show. The event is sponsored by the Friends of ChildFund volunteer group.

"It is the responsibility of educators today to provide or create opportunities for students to give back to their fellow mankind," said VCU&rsqo;s Karen M. Videtic, chairperson of the Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising. "This project, Cultural Adornment, allows students to share their craft while learning about other cultures and peoples from around the world."

"This event is so meaningful on many levels, but mostly we are all touched by the idea of kids helping kids," added Kathleen Reid, event co-chair. "It&rsqo;s been so much fun getting to know the VCU art students and observing the depth and breadth of their talent."

Students include Jennifer Robbe, Sarah Robbe, Erin Bailey and Marylin Li. Faculty participants include Henry Swarz, Krisen Caskey, Linda Lee, Holly Alford and Kim Guthrie.

Jennifer Robbe, a senior graphic design major, chose Ecuador because she found the ancient Inca and Spanish history intriguing. One of the items she designed was a bracelet. In addition to incorporating Ecuadorian touches, she also wove in a ChildFund story.

"I found a vintage Ecuadorian postage stamp and made it the centerpiece of the bracelet. I thought about how someone would communicate with their sponsored child through ChildFund," Jennifer said. "Using a postage stamp exemplifies communication between the child and the sponsor through the mail."

For more information or to purchase a ticket for the event, please call 1-800-762-9593.

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ChildFund International is a global child development and protection agency serving more than 15.2 million children and their family members in 31 countries. For more than 70 years, we have helped the world's deprived, excluded and vulnerable children survive and thrive to reach their full potential and become leaders of enduring change. As a member of the ChildFund Alliance we create supportive environments in which children can flourish.