At United Way of Greater Atlanta, we aim to promote equity by investing in our community. Because ComfiArt shares our goal of community enrichment through financial stability, our collaboration seemed inevitable.
Founded by Dionna Collins in 2016, ComfiArt provides resources for artists — particularly artists of color — to monetize their work. A 2019 study published by the Public Library of Science found that a staggering 85 percent of the artists featured in museums across the United States are white. ComfiArt seeks to change that.
“I want to see not just me and ComfiArt, but also my artists grow,” says Collins. Artists Yuzly Mathurin and Marryam Moma helped us realize our collective vision by creating designs for one-of-a-kind United Way merchandise. Because a portion of every sale goes towards the Child Well-Being Mission Fund, our partnership with ComfiArt allows us to amplify their mission while supporting our own.
Capturing the meaning of community
Both Mathurin and Moma were tasked with utilizing their unique artistic skill to capture the meaning of community, specifically that of Greater Atlanta. The resulting designs are visually stunning takes on what it means to be an Atlantan.
You may already be familiar with Mathurin, a Haitian American mural artist, whose vibrant work is showcased behind the Plaza Theatre in Poncey-Highland. Mathurin’s digital mural (above) depicts two women in Piedmont Park, celebrating the vibrancy of the city and the promise it holds for a more equitable future. She has utilized United Way’s 2-1-1 services before, so being involved in this partnership was very special for her.
“I have a big place in my heart for United Way, and that’s why I’m so excited to create work, to really get the messaging out, to get people to be more aware of what [United Way] offers,” she said.
Moma is a Tanzanian-Nigerian collage artist who currently creates in Atlanta. With her craft blade and through layers of paper and other mediums, Moma created a cityscape outlining the 13 counties of Greater Atlanta (above), sharing her vision of a better future. She explained, “My collage is really centered around this Eden of community. How many hands can we get to contribute to this vision?”
Unveiling the designs at Artfully United
Mathurin and Moma’s breathtaking designs were recently unveiled at Artfully United, a lively event hosted at Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. At the event, small business owners and members of the city’s creative community were also treated to words from esteemed guest speakers, including Mayor Andre Dickens, Milton Little, and Atlanta Influences Everything founder Bem Joiner.
Mayor Dickens spoke on the impact of collaboration, “Atlanta is a group project. Everyone has to put in on this group project. Something is required of every last one of us. Our artists and small business owners are definitely putting in by making this place beautiful, and United Way is putting in by sharing their expertise to scale in ways that benefit the business end and this community.”
How to shop the collection
We’re serious when we say that you do not want to miss out on the ComfiArt United Way collection. Moma said it best, “I think it’s so powerful because as wearable art, it can move, right? So, there’s information that’s traveling. That for me is what art and activism do together. It gives us this bigger story of a solution that we dream of, that we hope for.”