Our November Art Walk saw the opening of a very special show: TRANSFORM. This show paired our own gallery43 artist Wellon Bridgers with photographer Whitney Runyon. Our Art for Advocacy event series presents a collaboration of two artists + organizations who believe in offering something for a greater good. TRANSFORM features original works inspired by the evocative images captured by Runyon.
ABOUT MWANA VILLAGES
We believe in empowering the vulnerable. We believe in telling stories. We believe and advocacy: for the voiceless, for the powerless. We believe in educating others on ethical orphan care (and what the unethical side looks like). We believe in building a community and inspiring people (that’s you!) we believe that because of this, fewer children will be called “orphan.”⠀- MWANA VILLAGES
MEET WELLON BRIDGERS
Wellon Bridgers is a wife + mama + advocate + artist.
She and her husband Stephen have four (playful, creative, determined and spunky) children. Wellon and Stephen learned about the global orphan crisis through their own journey of adoption. Their eyes were opened to the exploitation of vulnerable families, and they determined to use their own heartbreaking story of an unethical adoption experience to share with others that there is another way. Learning about the holistic approach of serving the Littles, Bigs and Mamas that Mwana Villages takes, the Bridgers knew this was the ministry they wanted to be involved with. Now several years later, their two youngest children joined their family from Mwana (Republic of Congo) and Wellon currently serves as the U.S. Director for Mwana Villages. You can learn more about their journey in this short documentary by The Archibald Project.
Wellon's artwork reflects her faith, and the spiritual lessons and truths that are ever-unfolding. From abstract work to landscapes to figurative pieces, Wellon explores the contrast of light and dark, hope, and strength with vulnerability. Click here to view her pieces available at gallery43.
ABOUT THE ARCHIBALD PROJECT
The Archibald Project is an orphan care advocacy organization. We use media to tell stories. These stories advocate for orphans, educate on orphan care, build community, and inspire people into action. Because of our stories, fewer children are called orphan.
MEET WHITNEY RUNYON
Whitney Runyon is a passionate + adventure seeking orphan advocate using her gift of photography to bring awareness to hard topics.
She and her husband, Nick co-founded The Archibald Project after a 36 hour trip to Bulgaria in 2011. On this quick trip around the world the Runyons documented the adoption of a 7 year old with Down Syndrome; these photos led another family to adopt. Nick and Whitney realized the power of a story and quickly formed The Archibald Project (named after Archie, the 7 year old Bulgarian boy). Now, 5 years later, the Runyons have both quit their previous jobs, Nick as and airline pilot and Whitney as a wedding photography, and have gone full time with their orphan care nonprofit. The Runyons, when not traveling the world working with ethical and holistic orphan care organizations, reside in Austin, Tx and are currently in the process of adopting a sibling group of 3 from Mwana Villages.
Whitney's work with The Archibald Project encompasses her whole life. "It's not just a job, but a passion and lifestyle," says Whitney. "I truly believe that one day, we can see a world without an orphan crisis and until that day I pray I use my life and privilege to advocate and support this goal." You can follow Whitney's daily walk on @whitrunyon and her work with The Archibald Project at @thearchibaldproject