Seeking to inspire donations for COVID-related charities, assistant professor of computer science Niranjan Balasubramanian is offering one of his original paintings to anyone who donates $50 or more to a related charity of their choice. He creates about three paintings a week and intends to keep offering them until at least the end of summer.
Encouraged by Computer Science professor Anita Wasilewska and friends to keep painting and potentially sell his creations, he came upon this donation idea, which has so far raised $3,200 (including matching contributions) for various charities across the U.S.
“I just want to do little things I can to stay positive and connected with those on the frontlines and bearing the brunt of this crisis,” said Balasubramanian. “Many are actively helping through various charities and I thought some might like to keep a painting as a token to remember by. I didn’t think people would take me up on it. Some who contributed said this helped them feel that they are pitching in.”
One donor gave $600 for three paintings, which Balasubramanian donated to Stony Brook Medicine for their PPE shortage effort.
Balasubramanian has been dabbling in painting for a little more than a year and is largely self-taught. “I have taken two hour-long online lessons so far,” he said. “I don’t think that counts as getting taught [and] I have no pretense of my paintings being ‘art.’”
To receive one of his paintings, Balasubramanian asks for a donation of $50 or more to any COVID-related charity effort of the donor’s choosing. The donor can then select any painting that is marked “available” on his Instagram Website. He will ship the painting sometime later in the summer, within the U.S., and requests $25 for shipping, but says he will deliver locally. Donors can contact Balasubramanian via direct message on his Twitter or Instagram pages.