Twice a year, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) host a volunteer appreciation event in recognition of SFBFS’ long time volunteers. For SFBFS’ fall 2012 Halloween-themed volunteer appreciation, a whimsical haunted house scene graced the front of five hundred postcard invitations and grabbed the attention of SFBFS volunteers and staff.
The postcard design featured a haunted manor set against a purple and orange evening sky. Pumpkins are scattered throughout the foreground along with droopy leafless trees while witches, a scarecrow, ghosts and a skeleton look like they are set for a mischievous night of fun.
The design was created by SFBFS volunteer, Kara Schunk, who painted with acrylics on canvas the enchanting scenery and offered her artistic talents for free.
Robin Simpson, SFBFS Volunteer Services Manager, explained that Kara approached her and asked if she could create an original piece of artwork to be used for event promotions, flyers, etc. Robin and Kara both agreed that Kara would design something for the Fall Volunteer Appreciation event. When Kara sent over a photo of her painting, Robin was pleasantly surprised. “When I saw Kara’s first draft, I was in shock – in a good way! Her painting was above and beyond anything I expected. She had created an entire Halloween themed scene with an amazing amount of detail. I loved the haunted house, the jack-o-lanterns and all the warm colors she used. It was perfect for our invitation,” Robin said.
Kara, a full time staff services analysis at the State Treasurer’s Office, said that she always had an interest in art. In high school, Kara spent her free time painting water colors on small pieces of computer paper, but it wasn’t until recently that she began showing her art in public. Kara participated in one of SFBFS’ Art Bra shows a few years ago.
“The Art Bra shows was one of the first art shows I participated in that was supporting to a good cause. I realized I was capable of helping through my art and doing what I love opened up opportunities for me,” Kara said.
While Kara’s passion for art began at a young age, her experience with acrylics began in 2006 after her sister bought her an acrylics set for Christmas. From that point forward Kara began experimenting more and more with finding her own unique style of colorful, bright, landscapes. After graduating in 2009 from Sacramento State University, with a degree in English, Kara’s art career took off. In 2010, after showing her artwork in multiple venues, Kara held her own show at Gallery 14.
Along with balancing a full time work schedule and artistic endeavors, Kara is also a part of a Community College Faculty program at Sacramento State, teaching Developmental Writing at Folsom Community College. Kara credits SFBFS as giving her the opportunity of her first teaching experience as an Adult Education volunteer.
“I was really nervous to teach the ESL class, but afterwards it really helped me to confirm that teaching is what I want to do,” Kara said, “SFBFS is a wonderful organization and I don’t have time in my schedule to volunteer right now, but I wanted to do something, anything that involved my art, for organizations that I care about.”
Kara’s contribution highlights how volunteers can contribute to SFBFS in more ways that just providing direct service to clients.
“Kara has shown that volunteers can contribute to SFBFS in really unique ways,” Robin said, “I would love to have volunteers create designs for future events! I am definitely not a graphic designer, so I need all the help and creativity I can get. I love that volunteers can share their talents in so many different ways at SFBFS.”
Thank you Kara for all your wonderful and amazing work! See more of Kara’s artwork at Colfax’s Greek Bistro (30 N. Main St. Colfax, CA) or online at http://www.karasart.com/.