Picture Worth A Thousand Dollars To Florida Artist Helping Adults Learn To Read

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“A picture is worth a thousand words and one in seven Americans can’t read those words.” That is the thought that inspired Florida Artist Larry Whitler to offer twelve of his original Plein Air Florida oil paintings for $1,000 each to help illiterate adults learn to read.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

“I was nominated to be a candidate in a fundraising campaign for the Marion County Literacy Council and learned from them that one in seven adults in America cannot read."

Florida artist Larry Whitler, 56, says he has set a goal to raise $12,000 for the Marion County Literacy Council in Ocala, Florida to provide much needed funding to teach illiterate adults how to read.

Whitler says the idea is simple. He is offering each of twelve original oil paintings from his Plein Air Florida series for a $1,000 tax-deductible donation to the Marion County Literacy Council, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization in Ocala, Florida. The paintings are part of a series of plein air originals titled “Plein Air Florida.” He says art collectors will only need to make their checks payable to the Marion County Literacy Council and then they can have the painting of their choice from the one dozen pieces of artwork being donated.

A 2012 Calendar has also been published featuring the twelve Plein Air Florida paintings plus one bonus print of a painting sold earlier this year. Proceeds from the sale of the calendar are being donated to the Marion County Literacy Council.

Whitler explains his involvement with the Literacy Council: “I was nominated to be a candidate in a fundraising campaign for the Marion County Literacy Council and learned from them that one in seven adults in America cannot read. The old expression kept haunting me that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and I would mentally add to that expression the thought that ‘one out of every seven people wouldn’t be able to read those words.’ That’s when I got the idea to sell twelve of my paintings for $1,000 each.”

Whitler says he settled on twelve paintings because that is approximately how many months it takes for the average illiterate adult to become a skillful reader. The application of the paintings in a calendar setting made the number twelve even more symbolic because it represented an attainable goal for the adults learning to read and the tutors who are teaching them.

The “Plein Air Florida” collection is a project that Whitler has been doing with longtime partner and fellow artist Robin MacBlane, 57, since April of 2011. “About once a week Robin and I pack up our art supplies, along with my dog, Hu, 11, and we set our easels up in various locales within driving distance of our homes in Florida and at the end of the day we each have an original oil painting of a Florida landscape.”

The competition Whitler was nominated to be in is called the “Kiss The Horse For Literacy” campaign. The Literacy Council fundraiser pits Whitler against eleven other candidates. The candidate that raises the most money by December 3, 2011 is then elected to “Kiss The Horse.” The theme of kissing a horse is based on the reputation Marion County, Florida, has as being one of the Horse Capitals Of The World (the other one being Lexington, Kentucky).

To purchase the original stretched canvas oil paintings, or to find out more information about them, contact Robin MacBlane on her cell phone at 352-615-5663. To view the artwork online go to http://larry-whitler.artistwebsites.com.

Purchase your copy of the Plein Air Florida 2012 Calendar online at http://www.lulu.com/product/calendar/plein-air-florida/18639293 . Proceeds from the sale of the calendar will be donated to the Marion County Literacy Council.

To learn more about the Marion County Literacy Council and the “Kiss The Horse For Literacy” campaign go online to http://www.marionliteracy.org.

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