On October 29 at 7:00 p.m., Root Note in La Crosse will host Art for Choice, an art sweepstakes to raise money for abortion services in western Wisconsin. In addition to live music by indie rock band Bathtub Cig, artists Travis J. Collins and Landon Sheely collaborated on several pieces that will be raffled off, with proceeds going to the Options Fund. The Options Fund is an Eau Claire-based foundation that helps those seeking abortions.
Regarding the Option Fund, Travis J. Collins said: “Planned Parenthood and the Wisconsin Women’s Foundation both recommended me to the Option Fund because it’s more localized in Western Wisconsin and they said they were a great organization. So I looked into it. They, and exchanged a few emails with them. They seem to be a good organization that is doing a great job. They are very racially inclusive, gender-inclusive, and pro-trans. For me, pick one that focuses on intersectionality Sexual organization is important.”
When asked about the goal of the campaign, Collins said: “I want to do something good with the art I do, so when the owners of The Root Note asked me to do some art, I was like, ‘Let’s do it Some good!’ Because with the recent reversal of Roe v. Wade, Wisconsin is in a more difficult situation than Minnesota, and I have a lot of friends and family in Wisconsin. I just wanted to do something good with some art, So I thought we’d work together and raise some money for abortion.”
Collins is an artist who lives in Minneapolis, but said he chose The Root Note for his event because of his history in the place. He said: “I played in a band at The Root Note a lot, so I became good friends with the owner. When they finished their remodel and started doing art shows at The Root Note, the owner asked me if I wanted to host some in October. Artwork, I decided to raffle artwork to raise some money. I’ve always wanted to work with Landon, so we’re having an art sweepstakes, and we’ve got some live music from my friends. So we’ll be listening to some music and drawing some Paintings and raising money for the Option Fund, which is the abortion fund in Wisconsin, specifically in Eau Claire and western Wisconsin.”
All available artworks are displayed at artforchoice.betterworld.org. Collins said he and Sheely used their different art styles to create raffle tickets that could be purchased. “I really like the contrast of shapes and colors. Textures have contrasts too! I really like to play with textures. I’m a bit structured and angular, Landon’s work is very fluid and spontaneous, and I think it will blend well. We It’s a joy to create art together,” Collins said.
Collins said Sheely was like a mentor to him when he was learning how to do art. He said he and Sheely share many of the same values, which is why they are a good partner to collaborate on in raising money for an options fund. “I’m so excited to be working with him. I’m working on some ideas and having him contribute, and I’m excited. It all worked out! So that’s really cool,” Collins said.
Sweepstakes tickets are sold for $10, and each ticket gives buyers a chance to win a painting. Tickets can be purchased at artforchoice.betterworld.org. Winners of these paintings do not need to be present at the event to receive the prize. If they are not at the event, the artist will contact the winner after the event to notify them of their victory and schedule a time to retrieve their painting somewhere in Minneapolis or the La Crosse area.
“Art is so important to move people, inspire people and change people’s minds. I don’t know if art itself will necessarily do that, but I just want to use art to do something tangible and good. I want to use it to make some real change, You can see. You know, art can make a ton of change in a lot of different ways, but using it to make some real change and do some real good is our goal,” Collins said.
Since the event falls on the Saturday of Halloween weekend, Collins said he hopes people are ready to join the event and have fun together. Costumes aren’t required, but Collins said: “People dress up if they want! People should have fun. We’ll hear some music, see some art, and raise some money.”