Not just any mugs, but ceramic mugs with a painting by Crawford artist Hendrika Cegielski.
The Compassion Mug Project will be offered two ways: filled mugs and unfilled. The filled mugs will include articles such as notepads, specialty coffee, lip balm, toffee, dried fruit, lotion and more for $35. The unfilled mugs are available for $15. Both can be purchased by calling 874-6995 or stopping by A+Y Design Gallery at 513 East Main Street or the Tri County regional office at 540 South First Street. The sale will continue through the end of October.
“This is the first time Tri County has done this type of fundraiser,” said Chip Meneley, program supervisor for Tri County Resources. “We are fashioning it after fundraising by our sister shelter, Latimer House, in Grand Junction, but it’s the first time to do it here.”
Meneley said Tri County will see how successful the fundraiser is before deciding to do it again, but Latimer House has had good success in the last few years, using different area artists.
Cegielski lived in Pennsylvania for most of her life, but moved to Colorado in 1992 where she switched from photography to fine art. She works in colored pencil, pastel, oil, and pen and ink, covering a wide variety of subject matter, according to her website, but with preference for the wildlife and landscapes of the southwest.
Cegielski has been active on the board of “Render the Rock,” an annual Crawford art festival and has served as president of the West Elks Arts Council since 2005.
“My paintings are the summation of the mountains and valleys of my life, of everything I have seen, and everywhere I have been,” she said. “Painting is bringing my life experiences to canvas.”
Cegielski also has participated in the Artist Alpine Holiday show in Ouray, the Western Colorado Center for the Arts, and the Pastel Society of Colorado Mile High National Pastel Juried Exhibition.
Domestic violence and sexual abuse are serious problems on the Western Slope, and Meneley said that between August of 2010 and July of 2011, Tri County Resources answered more than 2,300 calls from people in crisis or who needed counseling, referrals or advocacy.
The organization also sheltered 144 women and children during that time frame and staff gave 65 presentations to increase awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault. More than 1,300 individuals received in-person counseling as well as advocacy, group counseling and help with protection orders.
And the problem is even worse than it seems, Meneley said.
“It is estimated that only 20 percent of domestic violence is reported,” he said. “Do the math.”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is supported by groups and individuals all across the country, according to the Domestic Violence Awareness Project on its website at dvam.vawnet.org.
“The Domestic Violence Awareness Project supports the rights of all individuals, especially women and girls, to live in peace and dignity,” the site states. “Violence and all other forms of oppression against all communities and families must be eliminated.”
In addition to the mugs, Tri County will also have a silent auction sheet at A+Y Design for the original painting that is used on the cups, depicting horseback riders heading toward distant mountains.