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Steve Williams Wins First Love-Away Running Away

Gotta Believe


Congratulations to Love-Away Winner #1, Steve Williams, who submitted our favorite (and only) entry to round 1 of the contest. We are so glad that “Gotta Believe” will be hanging in his office accompanied with his other fave pieces.

Thank you for all the love: (491 visitors and 1129 page visits, 10 new twitter followers, loads of retweets, encouragement and as much love in comments as the many likes in the social media universe. Oh and 1 sell). But the best part was finding a home for another work. That was easy for me and too easy for Steve, but I’m so excited that the next piece, an original, will be up real soon.

Hey Steve send me a message with your address and phone number. Gotta Believe is coming home.

Infrequently Asked Questions (IAQs) About The “Great Art Love-Away” and “Gotta Believe”

Why Infrequently Asked Questions?  These are “Infrequently Asked Questions” because this is the first art love-away and they have not  been asked and answered until now.   The answers will give you a deeper understanding of what PonderArt is all about, why we are having this event and the importance of the selected work(s) in this event.  Please feel free to comment.

What is the “PonderArt Great Art Love-Away”?

As part of my mission to beautify the world, one image, one space at a time my wife, Michele Tuck-Ponder, and I donate pieces of my art to our favorite non-profits for auction. Our goal is to raise $1 Million Dollars for our favorite charities.

Fortunately, many people are touched by the work, but as it becomes more expensive, it can also become more inaccessible to folks who appreciate and enjoy the work.  So, we decided to extend our mission by giving-away three pieces of art work to individuals who love and are excited about the work.  But we’re not really “giving” it away because we want something in return — we want to enjoy and bask in the inspiration and energy of interacting with folks who appreciate what we do.   No we are not giving the work away; we are loving it away.

And because of the insistence of my wife, our feelings about this are so strong that we will pay for the postage and shipping to get the work to the winner anywhere in the U.S.  Please believe me when I tell you that my wife is responsible for that part of the our “love in return for love offering.”  She convinced me with when she stridently said something about “making the love-away truly free and  being grateful from the blessings that come from giving.

How Will We Judge The Winner?

We have no idea how many entries we will receive, but whether it’s 2 or 25 (more?), we already know the love we will receive will be tremendous.   I am always so energized and grateful when someone cares enough about a piece of my work or an image that they want to energize their own space with it.  No work touches everyone, but when someone is so excited  and pumbed and loving that they will pay to place my work in their home or office, it fulfills my daily mission to improve somebody life in some way.  So like the entire process, it will be subjective and it will be based on how the entries energize the judges.  Since, I already know most of the people I expect to apply and I know how hard it will be for me to chose alone.  There will be a panel of four judges and if a tie breaker is needed, we will use social media as a fifth judge.

How Do I Enter The PonderArt Great Art Love-Away?

See the easy  to enter instructions above.

What Should My Entry Say?

You didn’t really ask that infrequent question did you?  Be creative.  Be honest.  Be energizing.  Be real.  Write a verse.  Write a sentence.  Communicate.  Show love.

Why Are You Doing This Great Art Love-Away and will you do it again? 

There are many little reasons that we are doing this event and all of them add up to the fact that the act of giving out of love and passion multiplies the blessings for everyone involved.

I absolutely love selling paintings and I am enjoying the steady increase in what people are willing to pay for my original work.  I remember the first time someone paid $3000 for a piece, I was actually not too pleased to see it go because I really liked the work a lot.  Fortunately, I had a common-sense wife who reminded me to be grateful for three things: 1) The joy on the person’s face when she bought the painting for someone she loved; 2) the financial reward for doing something I love, even more than I make serving some legal clients; and 3) the blessing that I can paint something else I like.  So I do enjoy the selling part, but what is really core to our mission is to get the work to where it will touch someone positively and I see both selling and giving fulfilling that mission.

The funny thing about sharing something with love and for love is that it increases the value of anything in multiples.  So as we bring smiles to faces and lift hearts, we have no doubt that giving away a few pieces of art from time to time will do nothing but create value, if for no reason but to create more space in my studio for the new paintings created as a result of all the positive energy shared by the participants in this monumental event.

Our goal is to eventually give away $100,000 worth of art to individuals as we grow.  In order to make that happen, I must create a lot of enjoyable, provocative and moving works or the value of the pieces better keep going up.  Guess what I’m aiming for?

Why Are You Loving-Away A “Gotta Believe” Print First?

“Gotta Believe” is what I consider my signature piece, even as my style(s)  gravitates in other directions. “Gotta Believe” was the first painting I did nearly twenty-five years after I stopped painting after high school.  The first and most powerful image I felt in my heart, when I finally decided to resume painting, was a very simple one.  The image was of a person opening up, letting go, giving praise and showing gratitude for all the blessings that were, that are and that will be despite the trials and tribulations of life.  It was an image of faith despite darkness and turmoil.

When I painted “Gotta Believe,” I wanted to connect my artistic rebirth to a very strong history of art generally, but African-American art in particular.  As an artist,  my absolute favorite inspirations has been legendary artist  Jacob Lawrence for several reasons.  Lawrence was an inner-city kid who was taught by the masters in his Harlem community. His paintings were meaningful depictions of America life and often rendered mediums –gouache, tempura, paper, hardboard — were accessible to us as kids in underserved schools in Chicago.  I decided that the main figure in my first painting would pay homage to Lawrence and that I would do so by designing a figure not only nodding to his style but wearing the “working–class blue” he dressed many of his figures in.  But I had no desire to copy Lawrence, who is categorized by scholars as a “collage cubist.”

I knew that my artistic quest would be different, a perpetual experiment in an effort to create synergy between very divergent styles, color, image, and design.   My human figure was going to be immersed in the difficult abstractions of life as represented the by wall of color seemingly enveloping and blocking the faithful one simultaneously.  This painting began my journey to challenge conventions regarding the relationship of the human form to abstractions such as drip and splatter painting — more often than not while listening to some energizing tunes.

I am pleased and honored that others have felt their own energy, however different, from the work.

The original was given to my loving wife just in case I miss a life insurance payment. (LOL!!!)  Right now she views it in a great place of honor with lots of love.

Enter PonderArt’s First “Great Art Love-Away” And Win A Free Limited Edition Print!

Gotta Believe

Enter and win your Limited Edition Print of “Gotta Believe” (#5) by Rhinold Ponder. The deadline for submission of entries for THIS print is 5pm on Saturday, August 31, 2013.



You can own the above work by artist Rhinold Lamar Ponder by submitting an entry to the “Great Art Love-Away” per the rules below.


1. Your entry must consist of a picture and a statement, 50 words or less, depicting and describing where and how you would show the prized work your affection.

2. You must submit your entry on Twitter or Facebook.  The Twitter submission must include the hashtag  #PonderArt or #Love-Away.  The Facebook submission can be made on the Ponder Art Facebook page or under our post of the Great Art Love-Away prize.  You can post it on the original post or one of the posts shared by a friend.

3. The post must be submitted within the time limit specified for each prize.  The first deadline for “Gotta Believe” is 5pm, Saturday, August 31, 2013.

4. Only one entry per person, per painting/print.  You can submit one entry for each print or painting you are interested in.

5. There will be only one winner per household.

If you want to be contacted when you win, we suggest that before you leave this page you fill out the form below.

Please be aware that the sign-up form submits the name to our mailing list which may be used to send out more information about new Ponder Art work and events.  If you do not want to be on the mailing list you can unsubscribe from the mailing list when you receive something from us.

It’s that simple.  If you want to know more about this event — the passion behind it,  why we are doing it and why “Gotta Believe” is an extremely important image to me — please read the “Infrequently Asked Questions” below.

Read More…

Ponder Art Donates “Tiger Sandstorm II” To Women’s Fund Of New Jersey Fundraiser

Recently painted “Tiger Sandstorm II” was donated to the Women’s Fund of New Jersey’s live auction at the organization’s annual “Power of the Purse” fundraiser.  The painting, a smaller version of Tiger Sand Storm I, was won in a heated bidding war by New Jersey Hospital Association CEO, Betsy Ryan.   We’re glad that “Tiger Sand Storm” moved to a great home for a wonderful cause.

“Tiger Sand Storm II” on the auction block. It was great fun and we raised a little money for an excellent cause.

Add Jeffrey Owen Hanson To Ponder Art’s Favorite Artists List

Wow.  Recently I was introduced to the art work of  Jeffrey Owen Hanson, an artistic philanthropist whose passion and intensity was born from his struggle against a physical disorder which left him legally blind.  It would be an understatement to say that I was instantly connected to the depth and vivaciousness of his work.  It is so colorful, upbeat and just plain beautiful.

He joins my list of favorite artists along with Leroy Nieman, Tafa and Jackson Pollock.  I love many other artists, but not many move me, rather inspire me, the way their images do.  These folks make me want to create after just staring at their work in amazement.

I look forward to meeting Mr. Hansen one day to learn more about his artistic techniques and philanthropic practices.  This is an artist after my own heart, so don’t be surprised if you see some influences from his work in my future paintings.  Every time I look at his work, I feel as though it is whispering to me and man the responses in my minds eye overwhelm me.  It’s time to put those responses on canvas I think.

Check out this video about him and you’ll see why I love his work.

Rhinold Joins Standing Together Through Art

I am happy to announce that I have committed to joining a new artist group called Standing Together Through Art a/k/a st-ART.  Based in the Princeton-area st-ART identifies itself as a “multifaceted company focused on connecting art enthusiast with artists.”  st-ART, created by curator and gallery professional Ajanta Shah, brings together a unique blend of artists who are willing to price work (under $1000) so that it is accessible to a wider consumer base and who are interested in using art as a philanthropic tool.  Proceeds from st-ART’s combination of live and virtual shows go to a variety of charities.

I will be participating in the st-ART’s “Peace Through Art” show in December and the organization will host my highly anticipated solo exhibition in June.

Presently st-ART is running their “Aesthetic Beauty/Internal Beauty show live in New York through November 1, 2012. Check out the preview here at the st-ART blog.


Today, as I attempt to prepare the website for it’s official opening, I was thrilled to upload my first set of pictures into the art gallery.  I must admit I am loving the way the work looks together collectively.  Just staring at the collection inspires me to do even more — the ideas are coming rapidly which means I need to hit the studio soon.  I’m looking forward to adding to the collection.