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Wes Odel, Veteran HOPE Winner, alongside Hailey Browning, Lake Travis High School Student HOPE Winner.

Featured Article

Project HOPE: An International Artwork Collaboration

Honoring the Past, Cultivating Hope, and Embracing Unity with Bee Cave Art Foundation

In a world where distance can sometimes separate us, the Bee Cave Arts Foundation stands as a shining example of the power of artistic collaboration to transcend boundaries and bring people together. Their latest initiative, Project HOPE, has not only captured the hearts and minds of our community but has also touched the lives of individuals across the globe.

Recently named the best non-profit organization by the Bee Cave Chamber of Commerce, the Bee Cave Arts Foundation has been instrumental in enhancing our community's quality of life since its establishment in 2010. Under the visionary leadership of Director Deby Childress and with the dedication of countless volunteers, the foundation has continuously advocated the integration of art into public spaces, empowering individuals and inspiring collective experiences.

However, the impact of the Bee Cave Arts Foundation reaches far beyond our city limits. Through an international partnership with the City of Paestum, Italy, Project HOPE has created an international bridge that connects the past with the present. This international artwork collaboration pays homage to the brave soldiers of Texas' 36th Infantry Division and their allies who fought valiantly during World War II to liberate Paestum and Southern Italy from the clutches of the Nazi regime. It reinforces the importance of the Texas military in securing our liberties and fostering cultural exchange between Texas and Southern Italy. The artwork submitted by students and military veterans captures the essence of "hope, peace, freedom, brotherhood, democracy, tolerance, and inclusion" – timeless values that resonate deeply within us all.

From the moment Project HOPE called upon the creative spirit of students in local school districts and Texas veterans last fall, it was clear that something extraordinary was unfolding. Students from local school districts poured their hearts and souls into creating art that embodied the themes of the competition. Likewise, military veterans, driven by their own experiences and memories, contributed powerful pieces that serve as testaments to their resilience and indomitable spirit.

The entries included art from all ages — ranging from a 9-year-old student to a stately 80-year-old veteran. Among the entries, two pieces emerged as winners, earning their place in a monumental 30-foot sculpture crafted by the talented Italian artist Franco Palmentieri. This sculpture, "Avalanche 43 - History Comes from the Sea," will forever honor the legacy of the Texas military and their noble mission. On September 9, 2023, the winning artists will attend the 80th anniversary of "Operation Avalanche" in Paestum, Italy. During the dedication ceremony on the historic landing beach, the sculpture will be unveiled, paying tribute to all the forces involved.

The Bee Cave Arts Foundation, along with representatives from the City of Austin, Camp Mabry, the Austin Sister Cities organization, and the Austin Italian American Chamber of Commerce, will join hands with the Italian government, regional mayors, sponsors of the Avalanche 43 Project, and leaders from the Italian military, coming together to honor shared history and a commitment to unity.

The success of Project HOPE has not only enriched our community but has also paved the way for an exciting future. Through a newly formed alliance with the Austin Sister Cities Organization, the Bee Cave Arts Foundation is creating an ambitious student arts and humanities exchange program. By immersing themselves in diverse cultures and deepening their understanding of the world, students will gain a global perspective that will shape their lives and foster lasting international relationships.

The Bee Cave Arts Foundation actively seeks sponsorships and donations. We encourage our readers, businesses, and organizations to support this inspiring cultural exchange and artistic growth. Your support will enable the next generation of artists and storytellers, ensuring that the Bee Cave Arts Foundation continues to serve as a beacon of unity in our community. Discover more at BeeCaveArts.Foundation or visit their community art center at 2700 Hill Country Galleria, Suite T125, Bee Cave, Texas 78738.

  • Wes Odell, Winner of "Best Veteran Piece."
  • Wes Odel, Veteran HOPE Winner, alongside Hailey Browning, Lake Travis High School Student HOPE Winner.
  • Avalanche 43 - History Comes from the Sea, sculpture created by Franco Palmentieri.
  • Nicolas Miller a Lake Travis ISD student working on his illustration.