Pat Landowska’s interview with artist, Mildred Rivera: “I cannot ignore what’s in front of me”

Mildred Rivera, an artist, who specializes in air brushing and watercolor, and a student at Santa Monica City College, decided to donate 25% of profits from the show featuring her art and the art of her colleagues to Wells Bring Hope. The show opened on November 6 and will be held until November 20 at The Market Gallery, S San Pedro & E 11th Street in Los Angeles.

Why did you decide to donate 25% profits from your show to Wells Bring Hope?

Because I like the concept of it. Everything…the same goes on and on around the world through generations, like homelessness, poverty, racism, nothing really changes. Since I am an awareness artist, I think it is important to make a point that everybody is affected by what’s going on, that’s my job – to make people aware. For an artist it can be that simple as using the color pink to raise awareness about a breast cancer.

Yes, but one may say that there is plenty of poverty and suffering right here where we are, in the States. A person doesn’t have to go to Africa to find the needy ones.

I don’t discriminate among people in need based on their location. We all live in the same world, in which ignorance is overwhelming. Therefore, we all have to do our part. If only one person breaks the ignorance and does something about it, others will follow. Barbara Goldberg, the founder of Wells Bring Hope, is the best example. I cannot ignore what is in front of me. And by that I mean what’s going on in Africa as well as in here.

You are a student. Don’t you need money for yourself?

Yes, I do. But you know what, as long as I’ve eaten today, which I did, I can help others. I am not selfish. God has given me a talent to share, to pass on somebody else.

Is this your first charitable fundraiser?
No, I’ve done it before for causes like fighting breast cancer and AIDS. But I didn’t raise a lot of money.

Well, every little bit counts. Thank you for the conversation, and good luck with your studies.