The ShowArt at Stein Mart, an art show featuring local artists, is all about dignity — dignity you wear.
Or rather, Dignity U Wear.
    The art show, scheduled to run from Sept. 21 through Oct. 4 with displays at the Stein Mart at 2800 Raeford Road, contributes 30 percent of the show’s proceeds to Fayetteville Urban Ministry — a nonprofit organization that provides clothing for the poor and homeless, along with other services. Fayetteville Urban Ministry buys much of its clothing at a greatly reduced rate from Dignity U Wear — a Florida-based national nonprofit that provides brand new clothing to men, women and children in need. The organization receives donations of new clothing from manufacturers and retailers and distributes it through a network of 300 recipient nonprofit agencies in 30 states. Nationally, the organization has provided more than 4.1 million pieces, valued at $71 million, to more than 354,000 people.
    {mosimage}Annette Smith, a marketing rep with the local Stein Mart, says the art show — in it’s third year — is a way for Stein Mart to give back to the community.
    “This helps provide the homeless with clothes, as well as help furnish school uniforms for kids,” said Smith. “There are at least 35 schools in the county that require the students to wear uniforms, and with gas and food and other expenses it’s hard to find the money for clothes.”
    Rusty Wong, executive director for Fayetteville Urban Ministry, says the organization is grateful for all the help it can get, as the number of homeless and families seeking clothing has increased as the economy has gotten worse.
“Over the last 18 months we’ve seen a pretty significant increase in folks coming in needing clothing,” said Wong. “We’re the only place in town that provides school uniforms for children.”
    Open since 1974, Fayetteville Urban Ministry provides other services as well, such as an adult literacy program, a construction and repair service for the economically disadvantaged, an emergency food pantry, and a Find-A-Friend program for children.
    “Fayetteville Urban Ministry is a wonderful program and we are so excited to be able to help them,” said Smith.
Smith said the art show not only provides funds for a great cause, but also shines a light on local artists. This year’s contributing artists include watercolorists Mary Nan Thompson and Gail Gilbert; potter Greg Hathaway; Kelly Wallace, whimsical wine glasses; and, Grace McGrath, fused glass jewelry.
    All art will be on display at the Stein Mart and the art show is open to the public. Prints as well as the original artwork will be available. There will be a drawing at 5:30 p.m. on the opening day of the show, with the artists giving away door prizes.
“This is a great way to help provide clothing for those in need as well as help support the local arts,” said Smith. “And you will be able to purchase some great art.”


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