We’re thrilled to share that our friend, Nick Ramos, is launching a new project titled ‘Build Hope, Not Walls’, which will see 150 artists from across the United States coming together in one exhibit October 13-15 at the Big Medium Gallery in Austin, TX. Each artist is creating a brick/a work of art, which will then be auctioned off, with part of the proceeds benefiting Casa Marianella. We spoke with Nick about this incredible project, to see how he constructed the idea and what he hopes people will take away from it.

How did you come up with the idea behind Build Hope, Not Walls? 

Everything started with a doodle of a brick while listening to the news, and coloring in that brick. I thought that I could paint some bricks and raise some money. My artist friend Rebecca Bennet is the one to suggest that I should invite other artists.

How did you find/select the 150 artists involved in this project?

For the past few years, I was the curator for the Georgetown Art Center, where I met a lot of artists through the exhibits and art competitions that I organized. I also found some artists through social media.

How did you hear about Casa Marianella and what about Casa resonated with you to help you select Casa as one of the organizations that will benefit from this project?

I started researching organizations that I could partner with, and Casa Marianella came up several times. But while vetting American Gateways for the project, they really spoke highly of Casa Marianella and their work, and that made me want to learn more about the organization.

How has your own experience as an immigrant helped shape and mold your perception of the refugee crisis? 

Over the decades, I have heard so many different stories from people all over the world. I also dated a muslim for several years, who educated me about refugee camps in the Middle East.

What do you hope people will take away from the Build Hope, Not Walls project?

A beautiful work of art? Kidding, but not really. The message of the project is probably the most important thing. This project is about the power of love and humanity. The idea that we all have something unique to contribute to society, and that we all have the power to make a difference in the world.

How can the Casa family and Austin community get involved with this event?
Well… this is a self-funded project, so donations and purchasing a t-shirt would go a long way to help making this project a reality. Please share our video, tell others about the project. The more bricks we sell during the exhibit, the more money we’ll be able to raise for Casa Marianella.

Mark your Calendars for October 13-15, and come out and see the exhibit at the Big Medium Gallery in Austin, TX.

We’re very thankful for Nick and his generosity to Casa Marianella, and we can’t wait for this event! To learn more, watch the YouTube video HERE and visit www.buildhopenotwalls.com