UPDATE: DUE TO COVID-19, THIS FUNDRAISER HAS BEEN POSTPONED.
By: Jaime Vining
The unprecedented bushfire crisis unfolding across Australia has decimated the habitats for over 1 billion animals. Since September 2019, the catastrophic fires burned nearly 13 million acres of land in New South Wales alone.
Parkland resident and potter Cynthia Zmetronak watched the horrific images coming out of Australia and was inspired to take action on behalf of the animals. On March 22, 2020, she is hosting “Fired Relief” — an art fundraiser at The Craft Gallery, located at 5911 S Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. The event will take place from 12 noon to 4:00 pm.
Fired Relief will feature bowls, mugs and other functional and decorative pottery works donated by over 100 artists from South Florida’s expansive pottery community.
Zmetronak, a retired public art school teacher and current instructor at the Boca Raton Museum School of Art and JCC ceramic studio, reached out to various pottery guilds and ceramic leagues for donors.
“Several of the studios hosted a ‘bowl-a-thon,’ where clay was provided to potters to use to throw pots and then glazed free of charge. All of the finished works were donated for the event,” she shared. Zmetronak has made at least 60 pots herself.
“Australian animals need more care than imaginable, not just recuperating but with new habitats and homes,” explained Zmetronak. “I am truly grateful to the local pottery community for generously supporting this cause and hope the public will join us in our efforts.”
The fundraiser will also offer attendees raffle opportunities for koala paintings and sculptures, as well as live music at the venue. Prices for the original works of art start at $10.
All proceeds from Fired Relief will be donated to WIRES (Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.), Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization.
WIRES has been rescuing and caring for wildlife for over 30 years and the funds raised from Fired Relief will assist the organization in increasing the capacity to rescue and care for more individual animals and pursuing additional opportunities to help wildlife more broadly.
For more information about Fired Relief or to donate an item for the event, please contact Zmetronak at [email protected].
Jaime Vining is a Florida native, but recent Parkland transplant. By day, she is a Florida Bar-certified Intellectual Property attorney, adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law and an avid blogger. Prior to earning her law degree, Jaime was a featured journalist for publications like the Orlando Sentinel and aXis Magazine. In 2009, she released a compilation of interviews with musicians under the title Off the Bus and On the Record.
Jaime is also a mom to two little boys and you will regularly find her running early mornings at Pine Trails Park trying to keep up with them.
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