“Art can make tons of changes in lots of different ways”: Local artist hosting raffle event to raise money for abortion access


Image retrieved travisjcollins.com/events.

On Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7:00 p.m., The Root Note in La Crosse is hosting Art for Choice, an art raffle to raise money for abortion access in Western Wisconsin. Along with live music by indie rock band Bathtub Cig, artists Travis J. Collins and Landon Sheely have collaborated on several pieces that are being raffled off with proceeds going to the Options Fund. Options Fund is a foundation based in the Eau Claire area that aid those who are seeking abortion access.

About the Options Fund, Travis J. Collins said, “Both Planned Parenthood and the Wisconsin Women’s Fund referred me to the Options Fund because it was a little more local to western Wisconsin, and they said they’re a great organization. So I looked into them, and exchanged a few emails with them. They seem like a good organization that’s doing good work. They’re very racially inclusive, gender inclusive, and they’re trans supportive. It was important to me that I chose an organization that focused on intersectionality.”

When asked about his goal for this event, Collins said, “I have wanted to do some good with the art that I do, so when the owner of The Root Note asked me to have some art up, I was like, ‘let’s do some good!’ because with the recent Roe v. Wade overturning, Wisconsin is in a more difficult position than Minnesota is, and I have tons of friends and family in Wisconsin. I just wanted to do some good with some art, so I figured we would collaborate and raise some money for abortion access.”

Collins is an artist based in Minneapolis, but he said he chose The Root Note for his event because of his history with the location. He said, “I play in a band that plays at The Root Note a lot so I became good friends with the owner. When they started doing art displays at The Root Note when they finished the remodel, the owner asked me if I wanted to have some art up for the month of October, and I decided I wanted to raffle art off to raise some money. I’ve always wanted to collaborate with Landon, so we are putting on an art raffle event where we have some live music by a friend of mine. So we are gonna listen to some music and raffle off some paintings and raise money for the Options Fund which is an abortion access fund for Wisconsin, specifically Eau Claire and the western Wisconsin area.”

All of the available paintings are displayed on artforchoice.betterworld.org. Collins said that he and Sheely worked together using their differing art styles to create the pieces that are available with the purchase of raffle tickets. “I really like contrast in shapes and color. Contrast in textures too! I really like to play with textures. I am sort of structured and angular and Landon’s work is very fluid and spontaneous which I thought would blend very well. We had fun creating art together,” said Collins.

Collins said that Sheely was like a mentor to him when he was learning how to do art. He said that both him and Sheely share a lot of the same values, and that’s why they were a good pair to collaborate on an event that raises money for Options Fund. “I was just excited to collaborate with him. I was dreaming up some ideas and having him contribute, and I was getting excited. And it all worked out! So that’s really cool,” said Collins.

Raffle tickets are on sale for $10, and each ticket gives the buyer the chance to win a painting. Tickets can be purchased by going to artforchoice.betterworld.org. Winners of the paintings are not required to be at the event to receive their prize. If they are not at the event, the winners will be contacted by the artists after the event to be alerted of their win, and to set up a time to pick up their painting somewhere in the Minneapolis or La Crosse area.

“Art is so important to move people and motivate people and change people’s minds. I don’t know if the art itself necessarily does that, but I just wanted to use the art to do some tangible good. I want to use it to make some change that is real, you can see it. You know, art can make tons of changes in lots of different ways, but using it to make some real change and do some real good was the goal,” said Collins.

With the event being the Saturday of Halloween weekend, Collins said he hopes people are ready to come together for this event and have fun. Costumes are not required, but Collins said, “People just dress up if they want to! People should have fun. We are gonna hear some music, look at some art, and raise some money.”