WASHINGTON, February 15, 2018. The idea of a London art gallery partnering with a national nonprofit that teaches young people about the U.S. Constitution, Judeo-Christian values and founding principles of freedom may seem more than odd. For William Kent, Sales director for Kent Galleries, it makes all the sense in the world to create an alliance with “We the Kids” and its president Judy Frazier.
Freedom is a universal pursuit, not unique to any particular country or people.
William Kent says:
“The idea that “We The Kids” has taken such a dramatic step in teaching young people in America about freedom, Christianity and especially the dreadful atrocities committed during the Holocaust is important and should be supported.”
The Holocaust officially ended in April of 1945. Yet, the reality of the incalculable horrors which resulted in the deaths of millions of men, women, children, and families still remain etched in hearts of survivors. Those, like Kent Galleries owner, David H. J. Kent who lived through those war years in Europe still remembers.
David was one of those young children who lived through World War II in Britain. He explained why teaching the lessons of the Holocaust is so important, even now, over seven decades later.
“As a schoolboy growing up after World War Two, our teachers showed us children, a film of the Belsen death camp. We saw a scene from Hell to our young eyes! Emaciated dead bodies, piled one upon another. And the living, almost at death’s door.”
The images of the Jewish victims were intense and dramatic to the young Kent. As he grew into adulthood, his devotion to supporting the end of victimization of the innocent still remained strong.
Building bridge between art and social action
The partnership with “We The Kids” nonprofit seemed like a perfect fit for the London art gallery and the patriotic American nonprofit which is partnering with Nathan Zakheim. William supported the idea of the use of art sales and auctions as a vehicle to help non-profits like We The Kids to teach young people about the Holocaust.
When Matthew Virgin, art consultant and auction specialist, approached Kent Galleries about supporting the American non-profit he said, “We were all in.”
“Matt explained how Nathan Zakheim was auctioning off several of his father Bernard Zakheim Holocaust-era paintings and sculptures to benefit “We The Kids”. The Kent Galleries sales director added, “Their effort to teach young people about the Holocaust, in addition to the other wonderful work, inspired us to join in. We placed a link to their organization on our gallery’s website.”
David Kent Art and Philanthropy
As a well known and respected artist, David Kent embarked on a myriad of artistic subject pursuits. His final choice is mythology because it allows him to express his fascination with the stories. One of his remarkable pieces, “The Last of the Leonidas Warriors,” depicts the story of the battle of Thermopylae.
Many moviegoers also remember Gerard Butler’s dramatic portrayal of the Spartan king in the movie ’300’.
The 300 Spartans
The bravery and heroism that the 300 Spartans and their king displayed in holding off a Persian army of 100,000 to 150,000 seasoned warriors is legendary. It helped to define what sacrifice and principles of freedom should mean and serves as an eternal benchmark measurement for future leaders.
David Kent and fellow noted artist Lorenzo Chinnici used their artwork in 2015 to create a remarkable philanthropical event in Milan, Italy, and London called “The Synergy of Sons.” They used their art to demonstrate a commitment to help others who were less fortunate and suffering medically.
William proudly explained the importance to his father and Chinnici in creating this historic art event.
“My father was experiencing reduced visibility and in one eye it had been reduced by 40%. In addition, Lorenzo Chinnici, was visually impaired and suffering from maculopathy, which is the part of the eye which provides central vision. Both agreed to donate proceeds from the events to the RNIB The Royal National Institute of the Blind and the London Menier Gallery.”
He added, they also plan to donate the proceeds of the cost of the premises to the charity “Paintings in the Hospital”.
Art is the Change Agent
For David Kent, the young poor boy who grew up in Britain in a time when the entire world was seemingly at war, his pursuit of art changed his life and many others. His generous spirit was cultivated through mentors and friendships including with his Spanish brother-in-law, José Carrión, also known as “El Pintor de la Noche” (“The Painter of the Night”). José and his wife and children were good friends of Salvador Dali. David and soon his gallery would become well known because of the inspirational impact on his work and in his life.
The art of David Kent and Kent Galleries is tied to his heart and to his spirit in his painting of liberating freedom, enjoyment of the quality of life and history. It is that same devotion to art and the celebration of history and freedom that ties his Kent Art Gallery to “We The Kids.”
The history of the Holocaust can never be forgotten
David Kent commitment is to that truth. He welcomes the notion of using art as a change agent for social good. He still remembers the Holocaust film from his youth and how,
“British soldiers paraded the Nazi criminals in front of their barbaric crime to poor helpless prisoners. A crime against six million Jews! Our teachers told us to remember- and tell future generations.”
He emphasized, “Never, ever, forget!”