2017 Chair Affair Contributor Creates Change Through Art

Four years ago Diane Pieri was listening to the radio in her car when a warm, friendly voice came on. “At the Philadelphia Furniture Bank, we help men, women, and families who are creating a new home.” Tom Maroon, Director of the Philadelphia Furniture Bank (PFB), went on to describe how each family could pick out furniture to rebuild their lives after domestic abuse, homelessness, or disasters.

Immediately, the Philadelphia-based muralist thought of her mother. “She liked good things,” Diane says. “When I heard Tom speak, I thought, ‘When my mother dies, I’m going to give her furniture to them.’”

Two years passed, and on April 13th at the age of 93, Diane’s mom passed away. Diane found Tom’s number and called up the bank. “One of my philosophies is that if you are surrounded by beauty, you will feel better about yourself,” Diane says. She loved that the furniture bank gave families the opportunity to pick out their own furniture and create a space that reflected them.

Last year, Diane found another way to support the furniture bank with her own art. She created a piece, Zebra in the Garden, to be auctioned off in the first ever Philadelphia Furniture Bank Chair Affair, raising money for families and individuals moving out of poverty.

The 2018 Chair Affair is right around the corner! Join us on April 19th for an evening of celebration and fun and support the bank’s life-changing work.

Like her support of the furniture bank, Diane’s painting is connected to her conviction that beautiful spaces are important. To date, she has created 12 murals in Philadelphia with the Mural Arts program, and 7 in Texas. Each of her projects is deeply rooted in history and authenticity.

“I created a mural a few years ago in a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood,” she recalls. “I researched the ecosystem, using images of Caribbean fish and plants. I even added some tuk-tuks.”

Often creating change through art is a slow process, but there are moments when it clicks. Diane describes, laughing, how a boy in a recent art workshop recapped her lesson: “Diane taught us that making art is way better than taking drugs.”

Whether painting beautiful murals, keeping kids off drugs, or supporting families emerging from poverty through the Philadelphia Furniture Bank, Diane is finding ways to create beauty for herself and our community every day.

Join Diane in creating change today! Get your tickets the 2018 Chair Affair today and help struggling families get back on their feet. 

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