GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- One West Lafayette artist is helping benefit hundreds of people in need.
Atossa Rahmanifar is selling her paintings and giving 100% of her proceeds to Food Finders Food Bank and the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. While she made this decision to donate months before the pandemic, she's learning how her exhibit is more beneficial now than ever.
"Each painting was an adventure and that's all that mattered to me, just paint, paint, paint, paint, and what happens to it, we'll find out," said Rahmanifar.
What Rahmanifar was not expecting to find out is that her passion for painting is now benefiting more lives than she ever imagined.
"Any donations raised are going to be so useful for us at this time, we're still fighting the COVID pandemic, we're still seeing an increase in demand," said Kier Crites, Chief Engagement Officer for Food Finders Food Bank.
Crites said Food Finders is looking at serving more than twice as many people as food insecurity increases amid the pandemic.
"We're planning for the long hall and trying to keep up with that so we really appreciate Atossa thinking of us and choosing us, there are so many great non-profits in town," said Crites.
Rahmanifar's decision to donate to Food Finders wasn't so random. Outside of painting, she works as a nutritionist, that's why food security is particularly close to her heart.
Her decision to donate to the art museum comes with seeing how art has impacted her own life and how it can benefit others.
"I love out art museum and I see our art museum as a very essential part of our community that we all need for our education, and for our enjoyment for all ages," said Rahmanifar. "If my show, in a very small way, can help with that then that's all that matters and it makes my paintings and this show much more meaningful to me."
"When she said 'oh, I'm going to donate all the proceeds of my paintings, I thought, oh that's really nice,' I thought probably, usually -- a couple of paintings will sell so that would be really great. No, she's got all kinds of support here," said Kendall Smith, executive director of the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.
Smith said the museum has been able to keep people on staff thanks to community sponsors and art museum membership, however, the museum is having to spend more money on sanitation methods all while not making money from the art classes and summer events the museum usually holds.
"It's going to help support the operations of the art museum, it's a stressful situation for us financially so this is going to be an awesome help for us," said Smith.
"It was everything about painting it was very, very engaging and interesting to me but, this to be a side benefit it can't get any better than that," said Rahmanifar.
The exhibit has been open since Thursday, Jul. 20 and her art pieces have already raised more than $25,000. It will be split evenly between the two non-profits. The exhibit ends Sunday, Sep. 20.
The exhibit is called From Mystery to Mirage.
"It's a lot of seascapes, landscapes, things that are more imaginary, based on reality but it melts into imagination," said Rahmanifar.