One of life’s greatest joys is being part of an authentic and welcoming community.
Holiday traditions, at their best, are like that too.
They’re about strengthening ties with family and friends; preparing and sharing food together; and finding common ground even in our differences.
That’s one reason I find such joy in this sparkling new artwork by Colombian-born London artist Andrés Garzon.
When we commissioned Andrés to create the art to accompany this year’s annual holiday card, we asked him to reflect on United Way’s 2022 campaign theme of being ReUnited in community and local love.
We hope you’ll agree that Love for Dinner is a strikingly beautiful interpretation.
“Community means to be accepted, to be supported and celebrated,” said Andrés, a resident artist at Good Sport Gallery & Studio in London.
His coloured-pencil-on-paper artwork celebrates the holidays in the intimate setting of a dinner still life and pays homage to the countless meals shared with family during the winter season. Bright colours, fresh flowers, candles and hands held in unison honour the quiet moment of gratitude before sharing a bountiful feast with those we love.
(You can watch this video to hear more of the story behind his art.)
Family, history, love, identity and queerness are recurring themes in the visual and written art Andrés creates.
In Love for Dinner, Andrés recalls and looks forward to milestone moments that reinforce what it means to be united and reunited … around a common table, with the most important people in his life.
“My family means everything to me. We’ve always had each other’s back,” he says. “Even when I dream about home, it’s always about the family house I grew up in. It’s more than nostalgia, more like knowing you belong.”
I love that phrase: knowing you belong.
At United Way Elgin Middlesex, we aim to create a community where everyone matters, everyone belongs.
As we close out 2022, I want to thank you for working with us towards that same goal. I am grateful we stand together in community and am encouraged, always, by the good we can do together when we are ReUnited in a common purpose.
On behalf of my colleagues at United Way, I wish you and those you love a joyful holiday season – and a new year filled with good.
Sign me up
Get the #LocalLove Letter,
straight to your inbox