Chicago artist Jeff Conroy recently unveiled his most recent work “Art for Orlando” being auctioned to benefit the victims of June’s attack at Pulse Nightclub. For Pulse he has created a mixed media collage that will be auctioned on eBay charities through his partnership with the Rainbow World Fund.
Conroy and Barbara Papaleo Poma, the owner of Pulse, officially unveiled the piece after a short presentation and it then was brought to the Grand Bohemian Gallery until the end of the eBay auction on this coming Monday. A small number of limited edition prints are available at the CityArts Factory as well, with proceeds also benefiting the victims of Pulse.
Conroy dedicates this piece to the 49 who lost their lives and the numerous others who survived this horrible attack. The artist also hopes to shine a light on those members of the Orlando Police Department, Fire Department/EMT’s and local medical community who worked heroically to put an end to the standoff and administered aid to those who survived.
A veteran to the charity art scene, Ann Nathan Gallery artist Jeff Conroy has created numerous pieces to benefit those in need. Most notably he set an auction record in 1999 for the highest price paid for a sculpture online when his cow “Mirroriam” from Chicago’s cows on parade sold for $65,500 benefiting Chicago’s “Off the Street Club”. Art can help heal while raising funds to benefit those in need.
Only hours before posting this piece to ebay charities it was brought to the artist’s attention that the owner of Pulse Nightclub was in fact high school classmate of his, Barbara Papeleo Poma. “Barbara and I spoke for the first time in almost 30 years this evening after being connected by a mutual friend from J.P. Taravella High school, Mr Danny Chichester. My world got a lot smaller when I realized that the courageous woman who owns Pulse was someone I knew as a kid. My heart goes out to Barbara and all those lives touched by this horrible tragedy. I hope that the spirit of this piece as well as the funds it raises help to heal, both emotionally and physically, all those who have been so greatly affected.”
About The Artist
Born in Chicago in 1967, Jeffrey Conroy was raised in various parts of the country following his father’s career as a federal agent. Some of his earliest memories were watching his mother paint and sculpt and at an early age his creative talents were evident. He spent his childhood drawing and sketching whatever amused or interested him about the world.
In his early twenties Jeffrey began teaching himself how to sculpt and paint. It was not long before Conroy’s work gained attention for its vibrant palate and unique style. His work began popping up in galleries in Washington D.C. and Virginia. In 1994 Conroy returned to the city of his birth to begin a career as a stationary engineer. He continued his art and added a few successful exhibitions to his resume. In 1997 he accepted an engineering position at Foote, Cone, and Belding’s Chicago office. Two weeks before FCB purchased a cow to exhibit in the Cows on Parade, a chance conversation with an FCB Creative Director lead to a viewing of Conroy’s portfolio.
So impressed by his work were FCB executives that they asked him to join an agency wide competition to design FCB’s cow. Conroy submitted 11 drawings the following morning and won the competition. His cow, Mirroriam, was wildly popular. It was named “Udder Best Cow” in a heard of over 400 that “grazed” the city’s streets in the most successful public art show in Chicago’s history. Mirroriam also set an auction record as the highest price paid for a sculpture online in 1999, fetching $65,500.00, as reported by Art and Auction magazine summer 2000 issue. Conroy was then invited to design a cow for Cow Parade New York. In the summer of 2000 his New York cow, Cowleidoscope, was a huge hit. It was displayed in midtown Manhattan’s Bryant Park and went on to earn $30,700.00 in the auction that followed the event. That was the sixth highest winning bid in a field of almost 500, with scores of cows designed by internationally acclaimed artists.
Conroy’s work continues to be seen in highly acclaimed exhibitions across the country including SOFA CHICAGO (2015, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2004, and 2000) and SOFA NEW YORK (2012, 2011, and 2000). His work is part of several prominent collections, including the Kamm Teapot Foundation, and has been exhibited in galleries, museums, and cultural centers throughout the United States.
for more information about Jeff Conroy and his art please go to www.jeffconroy.com
About Rainbow World Fund
Founded in 2000, Rainbow World Fund is the world’s first and only all-volunteer, LGBT-based humanitarian aid organization. RWF’s mission is to promote peace, unity and hope by leading the LGBT movement in participating in local and humanitarian relief efforts. RWF works to help people affected by natural disasters, hunger, poverty, disease, oppression and war by raising awareness in, and funds from, the LGBT community to support relief efforts around the world.