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We love to hear how artists are engaging their artwork to meet needs in the world. We believe their stories are worth telling and hope you enjoy hearing about them as well.

Live Art benefits Live Music for a Community


Artist: Matt Stanton Beard
Funds Raised: $500
Nonprofit: Redwood Coast Music Festival

AidCurrent artist Matt Beard has been exploring the overlap of music and art creation for several years, painting live to accompany live music performance from a wide array of musicians ranging from the mellow, soulful approach of Tom Curren and Matt Costa at the Highline Festival of Surfing in 2014, to painting with local 80’s punk Minor Threat cover band Adult Crash while perched atop a 10′ vert ramp.

Plenty of jazz and blues have crept into the mix as well, so he was honored to be asked to create this years official event artwork for the Redwood Coast Music Festival. Rather than create the art in the studio setting, he chose to integrate things one step further and instead zeroed in musical performances from Kingfoot and Wild Iris at the Redwood Curtain Brewery in Arcata, where he set up his easel in the corner and knocked this painting out in time to the music.

And in keeping with his usual practice of painting live he chose to donate 50% of the sale of the finished piece to the nonprofit of the buyer’s choice, which turned out to be the Redwood Coast Music Festival itself. Full circle.  Art supporting music supporting art supporting music. Or something like that.

Either way, we’re always stoked to see artists using their art to benefit their communities and live music festivals certainly bring communities together like few other things can. Cheers and congratulations Matt Stanton Beard!

Free Range Painting Tour of Santa Cruz benefits Save the Waves Coalation


Artist: Matt Stanton Beard
Funds Raised: $708.62
Nonprofit: Save the Waves Coalition

AidCurrent artist Matt Beard is no stranger to getting in his van and driving the California coast and dedicating weeks at a time to painting as much as humanly possible. He’s also no stranger to using his artwork to help support groups that are dedicated to making the world a bit of a better place. So it is quite natural that these two threads were woven together on a recent road trip where he was able to donate over $700 to Save the Waves from his proceeds of original art sales at the Redgate Ranch Music Fest and the Boardroom International Surfboard show.

But wait, that’s just a paragraph about the business side of things… did we mention he painted 18 new paintings in 12 days on this road trip? Well shoot. Get over to his site and check them all out here:

You’ll be stoked. And several are still available. Grab one if you keen and mention AidCurrent and Beard will donate 20% to Save the Waves.

Jon Baker is a Difference Maker

gildasArtist: Jon Baker
Funds Raised: $950
Nonprofit: Gilda’s Club of South Jersery

AidCurrent artist Jon Baker recently donated a limited edition giclee for the Difference Makers Luncheon at the Palm Restaurant located at The Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, where his work raised $950 in a silent auction.

The luncheon is hosted by the local Gilda’s Club chapter. Keeping the Red Door open is a vital component to offering care and support for those in our community battling cancer and who otherwise would not have the resources to find comfort.

Thanks for doing more with your art Jon Baker!

Music Festival Artwork helps Save the Waves

grass-fed-1500x2000pxArtist: Matt Stanton Beard
Funds Raised: $230
Nonprofit: Save the Waves Coalition

There is an incredibly rich visual tradition in music festival posters. This original painting by Matt Stanton Beard was his most recent contribution to that tradition when he donated the use of the art to the Save the Waves Coalition’s annual Redgate Ranch Music Fest 2016.

In regards to creating artwork for music events Beard states, “music event posters are a great opportunity for me to breakaway from my usual subjects and throw any curveball that comes to mind. There really are no rules or boundaries in the genre, so I always look forward to these pieces for the freedom they inherently provide.”

Speaking of operating without rules or boundaries, we’re pretty sure there’s no rule against an artist donating 20% of the sale of an original painting to anyone they should choose. In this case Beard took the liberty of donating back to the Save the Waves Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving our coastlines.

Save the Waves Coalition’s Newest Artist Ambassador: Matt Beard

Artists are often asked to donate artwork for nonprofits’ events and fundraisers, and at AidCurrent we celebrate every success story where art can be of greater benefit to a world in need. We don’t often hear of nonprofits reaching out to develop long term mutually beneficial relationships with the artists though, so when we heard that Save the Waves Coalition had been doing just that with artists (and surfers even) ambassador program we took notice.

When asked about his new ambassadorial role with Save the Waves, AidCurrent artist Matt Beard responds a bit nervously, “Oh man, I’ve never ambassadored anything, I hope I don’t blow it. Will there be tacos?”

Putting two and two together though, it’s a perfect match when you consider Save the Waves Coalition’s role in preserving the natural state of coastlines worldwide, and Matt Beard’s emphasis in his art on documenting the California coast.

We’re looking forward to seeing where this collaboration goes in the future, but for now, we’d just like to congratulate Matt Beard on his fancy new title, joining the ranks of other Save the Waves ambassadors like AidCurrent artist Erik Abel, professional surfer Greg Long, and a host of others.

Artwork by Wade Koniakowsky Raises $10,000 for Navy Seals Foundation

hansens-navy-sealsArtist: Wade Koniakowsky
Funds Raised: $10,000
Nonprofit: Navy Seals Foundation

AidCurrent artist Wade Koniakowsky recently teamed up with surfboard shaper Craig Hollingsworth to create a unique surfboard-as-art tribute to those who have risked (and those who have lost) their lives while serving their country in the armed forces. The board was auctioned at the annual Navy Seals Foundation Gala in Hawaii on September 10, 2016 and sold for $10,000.

Congratulations Wade and Craig, many thanks for offering your talents to support the Navy Seals Foundation that exists to provide support to the families of soldiers.

Artwork by Wade Koniakowsky raises $1,100 for UCSD’s Moore’s Cancer Center

vip-partyArtist: Wade Koniakowsky
Funds Raised: $1,100
Nonprofit: UCSD’s Moore’s Cancer Center

In an annual tradition, AidCurrent artist Wade Koniakowsky once again set up his easel at the VIP party for UCSD’s Moore’s Cancer Center’s fundraising event, the Luau & Legends of Surfing Invitational. Each year he paints into the evening as the crowd of surfing legends and Cancer Center supporters watch. A few items are usually auctioned off that night, including his artwork which this year managed to fetch $1,100 for the cause.

In a world where nobody is untouched by Cancer in some way or another, we offer our highest thanks and appreciation to Wade for his ongoing efforts to help the folks at UCSD press on for a cure to the devastating illness in all of its forms.

Jon Baker Makes Art for a Cause


Artist: Jon Baker
NonProfit: Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation
Funds Raised: $3,000

AidCurrent Artist Jon Baker was recently chosen to chair the inaugural Art for a Cause supporting the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation, held on August 11, 2016 in Margate, New Jersey.

Six artists were invited to participate in this event showcasing and selling their art with proceeds benefiting the DRCF. a charity that offers financial assistance to those who are battling cancer.

Full Circle: Great Outdoor Art Helps Preserve the Great Outdoors

Title: One Last Dance
Size: 20″ x 16″
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Artist: Matt Beard
Funds Raised: $350
Benefiting: Save the Waves

AidCurrent artist Matt Beard recently completed this piece on location somewhere on the California Coast. Painting outdoors, in “plein air”, has been Beard’s preferred way of working these days. “Why be in the studio, when I could be here” he says, pointing to the scene around him as he quickly sketches out some foliage. Birds are chirping, the breeze is blowing, and we have to agree. In fact, the more we think of it we just may move our AidCurrent office out in “plein air” as well.

This particular painting of his was done after a 3 week road trip all over San Diego, where he painted nearly every day, with every single painting being a commissioned request from area collectors. But this one was different, instead of going straight to a collector he left it with his friends at Save the Waves Coalition for them to auction at their annual fundraiser in San Francisco, where it was nabbed for a deal, but still raised $350 for the group’s ongoing conservation efforts.

There is something fitting in working out in this pristine environment and using that work to help preserve pristine places like this all over the world. Full circle.

World Surf Reserves Posters: A Symbiosis of Art and Activism

Artist: Erik Abel
Funds Raised: $655.75
Nonprofit: Save the Waves

AidCurrent artist Erik Abel recently designed a series of posters commemorating the five most recent World Surf Reserves that Save the Waves has protected through their programs. The regions they have worked to preserve are some of the most beautiful in the world. Add to their beauty a few quality waves and you have an recipe to inspire any artist worth their surf wax.

Erik Abel answered the call of inspiration and went above and beyond with this series of posters designed to bring attention to the work that Save the Waves is doing around the globe. The fact that these posters are raising critical funds for Save the Waves to continue their work only makes the symbiosis that much more meaningful.

Each poster features an iconic symbol of the location, honoring both the break and the local culture. The posters are being sold here through Save the Waves to raise funds for their ongoing conservation work. Abel has generously agreed to donate 75% of sales of these incredibly epic posters to Save the Waves. Get one while you can!