In celebration of Women's History Month, Meijer has launched a special collection of products featuring the art of three Midwestern women artists—Abeer Abo-Shihata, Judy Mintze and Misty Gunter Russian—in every supercenter. The retailer will ultimately donate 5% of sales from the collection to the American Heart Association's Life is Why Campaign to help support initiatives like the Go Red for Women Campaign, which focuses on driving awareness of heart health amongst women.
The collection includes a mix of paintings and digital art printed on stationery, gift bags, canvas tote bags, key rings, kitchen towels and decorative boxes featuring the three winning art pieces, as well as framed prints of the art. The limited-edition products are available in all Meijer supercenters as supplies last through April 1.
The retailer selected the featured pieces from hundreds of submissions after calling for culturally-inspired art in 2021 as part of its ongoing efforts to support underrepresented communities and ensure every customer sees themselves reflected on its shelves. The winning pieces were selected by Meijer merchants based on team member votes.
"As women, we each have our own unique experiences that shape us," said Carla Hendon, director of supplier diversity and indirect procurement at Meijer. "While each piece reflects its artist's celebration of her womanhood, we know this collection will speak to women at large as the pieces celebrate the depth and multi-dimensionality of a woman's sense of self."
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For example, Hilliard, Ohio-based artist Abeer Abo-Shihata purposefully employs a "semi-abstract" style in her paintings to give space for the viewer to apply their own unique interpretation. Abo-Shihata, who first began painting more than 15 years ago while living in the Middle East, sees art as a form of communication and means of connection with other people. She said seeing her art on Meijer shelves is exciting because it allows her to connect with hundreds of thousands of people who may not have otherwise seen her work.
"This is an incredible opportunity to reach people who don't frequent art galleries," Abo-Shihata said. "Art should be for everyone."
Misty Gunter Russian from Eaton Rapids, Mich. finds inspiration in the diversity of beauty found in nature.
"Flowers are all different, but all equally beautiful and, in my head, I wanted to show that different is beautiful and diversity is beautiful," said Russian, who considers herself an "artist by night" – fitting in time for her art in the evenings after her day job in finance administration and between caring for her children alongside her husband. "I hope that people who see my art recognize that regular people can do big things. I hope it inspires some other women to create."
Fishers, Ind. artist Judy Mintze features a hat as a key element of her piece's composition to symbolize the many roles and responsibilities women carry throughout their lives. In addition to being excited to share her art on such a large platform, the self-taught artist said this collection's philanthropic component made it especially important to her.
"It's a great opportunity to have my art exposed to the world, but on a personal note, I'm really happy that a portion of the proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association," said Mintze, who lost her sister to heart disease last year.
On the heels of its Black History Month local artist collection, this is the second of five local artist collections the retailer will unveil this year, with others tied to locally-inspired art, Pride Month and Hispanic Heritage Month. Customers can shop the Women's History Month artist collection in stores or online.