Art, Artist, Artist Colony; Living the Dream in Laguna Beach

Local artist Hillel Rzepka is living the dream in the Artist Colony that is Laguna Beach. Rzepka creates and sells his art, "Handmade Hearts" from his new gallery to dozens of Schools and nonprofit groups. His art is used for fundraising & memorials.
By: Hillel Rzepka
Feb. 1, 2012 - PRLog -- Living the dream in Laguna Beach;  Hillel Rzepka is an artist in an Artist Colony. Now living his dream, Rzepka's art has come a long way from its humble start at swap meets, farmer's markets, street fairs and craft fairs. He has recently made the leap of faith and moved into his own spacious art gallery.

Rzepka opened up a new art gallery in Laguna Beach this month to showcase his “Handmade Hearts” line of wearable art and his "Fundraising With Hearts" program.

Rzepka has been making glass sculptures for over 10 years. He creates and sells his art, "Handmade Hearts" from his new gallery to dozens of Schools and nonprofit groups. His art is being used for fundraising.

Rzepka says he fell in love with Laguna Beach within 15 minutes of visiting, in 2002; He thinks of his community as an important source of inspiration. "My formula for creativity is to surround myself with beautiful things and positive energy in a beautiful place, and to eliminate all negative energy in my space."

Before moving into his new gallery space and store at 1432 S. Coast Highway, he worked out of his home in Laguna Beach and at public art venues. Rzepka says that the wonderful reception to his art and his success selling hearts allowed him to open his own gallery and studio demonstration space.

Rzepka says, "I'm living my dream in a wonderful artist colony and I'm spreading my mission of love."

He points out that the most important part of his work is the fundraising aspect.

In the face of State budget cuts in Education, Fundraising With Hearts uses his Art to raise money for Schools. "When schools suffer budget cuts it is usually the Arts that suffer first and most. Now we are fighting back by using Art to raise money for the Schools. It is a sweet irony."

Fundraising With Hearts can earn groups up to 75% profit on their sales. "This is a very high percentage return," says Rzepka.

He sells his hearts wholesale to nonprofits, which sell them at a better profit than cookie dough or candy bars that schools, clubs and other organizations usually sell. He has participated in dozens of fundraisers and will be attending PTA conferences this year to showcase his project.

"The hearts are of heirloom quality. They represent love and spread positive energy." Although he likes cookies & candy he says "cookie dough and candy bars can't compare to Fundraising With Hearts!"

Right now, Rzepka is working on several massive installations & creations formed by using thousands of individual hearts. His collage of the Twin Towers & 9/11 was created using 2983 Hearts (1 heart for each person who died), and his collage for the fallen Americans lost in Iraq will have 4474 Hearts (1 heart for each person who died).

Each of these collages is representational, with one actual Handmade Heart to represent each victim of these terrible tragedies. It's his way of actually representing these events beyond a mere number.  "When you see the mass of hearts it means much more than a number. It is very hard to quantify a number, but seeing thousands of actual hearts together is very moving."  

Art, an Artist, an Artists' Colony...

"I am living the dream." says Hillel Rzepka.

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Handmade Hearts are wearable art glass pendants, earrings & jewels, wire-wrapped in precious metal, created by glass blower & lampwork hot art glass Artist Hillel Rzepka. From his very own Art Gallery in Laguna Beach come these unique one-of-a-kind wearable art creations.
Source:Hillel Rzepka
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Tags:Hillel Rzepka, Handmade Hearts, Art Glass, Fundraising With Hearts
Industry:Arts, Education, Non-profit
Location:Laguna Beach - California - United States
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