Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 3:19 am | Fair 63º


Local 6-Year-Old Artist Uses Her Creative Talents for Haiti Relief

Hollister first-grader Maya Lewandowski is selling prints of four original paintings for donations

Maya Lewandowski
Maya Lewandowski

Hollister School first-grader Maya Lewandowski is doing her part to help raise funds for the victims of the Haitian earthquake. She’s offering “limited-edition prints” of four original pieces of art for donations.

The pieces are selling for “any amount of money,” the 6-year-old says.

Lewandowski has sold pieces for as little as $2 and as much as $100 a print. She hopes to raise more than $1,000 to hand-deliver to Direct Relief International in Goleta at the end of the month.

“When Maya learned about the destruction in Haiti, she was crushed and wanted to help right away,” said her father, Leon Lewandowski.

The first-grader said she wanted to send some of her clothes and toys to help the children, but when she found out that money was what is needed most, she offered to donate $10 of her spending money.

“If I spend that money, it’s for things I want,” she said. “If they spend it, it’s for things they need.”

Frog and Dog by Maya Lewandowski
“Frog and Dog”

Four years earlier, when Maya’s older sister, Madison, was Maya’s age, she had similar sentiments for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. To raise funds for the American Red Cross, Madison sold drawings she made for friends and neighbors. Maya has borrowed her sister’s idea and is updating it for 2010’s first natural disaster.

With the advent of home scanners, printers and social networking, Maya has been able to reach people across the country. The response has been incredible, bringing in more than $300 in just the first day.

Maya loves art and has decided to be an artist — or a scientist, if the art thing doesn’t pan out — when she is grown.

Alien on Mars
“Alien on Mars”

She has won art contests for the Santa Barbara Fair & Expo, the Santa Barbara Zoo and the Goleta Lemon Festival, and in 2009 was the first prize winner for her age category in the Santa-Barbara News Press Holiday Coloring Contest, as well as the grand prize winner in Family Fun Magazine’s “What You Love About Your Mom” Art Contest.

Each of Maya’s pieces (“Frog and Dog,” “Mermaid in the Sun,” “Bunny Near Mountains” and “Alien on Mars”) is hand-signed by the artist.

“I like writing my name in cursive,” she said, “but it takes a long time.”

Mermaid in the Sun
“Mermaid in the Sun”

The four pieces were created specifically for the earthquake.

The artist said she loves when someone donates for her art, but if someone has already given in another capacity, she’s just as pleased. “If they help Haiti in another way, that’s just as good as buying my pictures,” she said. She hopes other children will use their talents and creativity to also raise money for the earthquake victims.

To receive a signed copy of one of Lewandowski’s art pieces, e-mail her father, Leon Lewandowski, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Please specify which piece you would like and where to send it.

— Leon Lewandowski is the father of budding young artist Maya Lewandowski.

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