Open Letter :
The purpose of this letter is to let you know how you and/or your community group can request our services. Brush With the Law hopes to reach out on how we can fundraise together. We also look to find the commissions to help us continue the visual arts as a public endeavor here in Montgomery County, PA.
Brush With the Law started in 2013 as a prison visual arts program that was conducted at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. It provided art classes and mural painting to the inmates within the confines of the prison itself. As Brush With the Law grew in popularity with participants, we realized that our program could help provide better outcomes for those marginalized trying to re-enter their communities. This includes people with substance abuse disorders, at-risk youth, mental and behavioral health, and probation/parolees. We realize the need for these participants wanting to make a positive impact by doing creative jobs within different parts of Montgomery County.
By working together, meaning Brush With the Law and those individuals who feel marginalized, a sense of community and achievement is found. On top of this, beauty and expression is also a big part of the program as well as the hopes for a new viewpoint from community members.
Where do you come in?
By obtaining commissions from local businesses and/or working with different cities and municipalities these creative endeavors that we seek, design and paint or build together sheds a new light on people who for the most part feel shunned from society and introduces them to the public as productive individuals who are looking for change. It gives a new positive feeling of accomplishment.
We have started this new endeavor of creating visual art in both public spaces and privately owned businesses. Continuously on the lookout to establish new sponsors, we are also hoping to secure the ones we already have. We aim to build and develop relationships with organizations interested in joining this forward-thinking mission.
Always on the look out for the next project or job, we are constantly growing. If something requires permits or permissions, we figure out how to obtain what is needed from government officials.
We do a lot of work in the community; some examples include: murals, painting parking meters, and creating conceptual art installations. The installations in particular are to create public awareness on social issues. Some of these themes include: drug addiction, homelessness, environment, climate change, and more.
We also hope to help with funding projects. For a public endeavor—or an entity like a non-profit for public good—that needs help with funding, we help to make the vision a reality. This is accomplished by creating fundraisers to help finance the project or seeking out like minded sponsors who want to contribute.
Founder and Director, Maria Maneos, started the city beautification project by calling upon local businesses and public works. She urged them to request the creation of visual art within their cities using Brush With the Law’s services.
Maneos received a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from Arcadia University in Glenside, PA and a Masters of Fine Arts Degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. The Academy is not only the place where she learned how to draw and paint, more importantly, she was taught how to take an idea and build upon it thoroughly and effectively.
In 2011, she developed, sought, and implemented an art program that took place at the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Center for Rehabilitation. Participants (mostly elderly patients) thrived to express themselves with paints, pencils, crayons, etc. This program helped raise consciousness by utilizing art as a method to help promote positive effects; this is through memory, imagination, positive/stimulating social interaction, and self-esteem. This is partially where the idea for Brush With the Law stemmed from.
As an artist, Maneos always looks for opportunities to help society recognize and address a problem; while she also aids in change. The vision became clear that even in a small way her art education could help redirect destructive behaviors in displaced individuals.
The Realities of Brush with the law
Brush With the Law is a public charity nonprofit 501 (c)3 organization and works hard to find partnerships. We look to grow our partnerships with: neighborhoods/communities, rehabilitation centers, county jails, grassroots organizations, youth aid panels, artists, and other nonprofit organizations like churches and schools. This organization looks to fulfill our commitment of visual integrity and the making of art to help bring people together; with great hopes to transform the divided. In the end, it is the act of doing the art that helps bring people together.
The average mural on a building can cost thousands of dollars and painting can take at least 8–10 weeks. With the exorbitant cost of painting a mural and budgetary realities, we need you. Brush With the Law wants to continue our commitment of reintegrating people with society through the making of art. We ask that you help us find places that are meaningful and require beautification—both visually and metaphorically.
These murals or works of art do not only have to be outside or on a wall. If it interests you, you can commission pieces for interiors, parks, on the floor or pavement. And even hanging like a chandelier using out-of-the-box materials. Whatever you can imagine we can figure out a way to make it happen.
Let’s have fun together making things!
Download the pdf :
BWTL Letter for hire