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Artist uses paintings to help military families during pandemic

Michelle Marra shows some of the custom abstract paintings she has made for those who donate at least $50 to Hope For The Warriors. (Michelle Marra/Hope For The Warriors/TNS)

A Delray Beach artist is using her painting talents to support a cause near and dear to her heart.

In a time filled with gloom due to the COVID-19 crisis, Michelle Marra decided to create custom pieces of art to help benefit military families through Hope For The Warriors.

Marra, whose uncles served in the Korean War, produces 8-inch-by-8-inch abstract paintings for any individual who donates a minimum of $50 to the national nonprofit. Using an array of beneficial programs such as clinical health and wellness, recreation and transition services, Hope For The Warriors assists veterans, service members and military families.

“I know that we’re all thinking about the health care workers and so forth. I started thinking about the people that we might be forgetting right now and might need it even more so,” Marra said.

“I have a pretty good following on Instagram. So I had posted it a couple (of) weeks ago and got a great response. I wanted to come up with an idea that would be easy but also meaningful to those getting the pieces. I’m taking 8-by-8-inch paper and putting on a wood board that has braces on it. It had sides so it could sit up if it was in a bookcase or you can still hang it if you wanted.”

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Since starting the initiative in late March, Marra has raised over $800 in donations for Hope For The Warriors with the pieces she has made. She has received orders from across the nation and so far has sent out 10 of the custom pieces.

“Michelle’s paintings are a beautiful light in such a stressful and uncertain time,” said Robyn Kelleher, co-founder and president of Hope For The Warriors. “For her to use this time to create custom pieces that will benefit the work we’re doing with military families is truly a testament of how the good shines through the bad. We’re grateful for her donation of time and amazing talents.”

Before constructing the abstract painting, Marra will send two different photos to the person who donated and have them decided which one they prefer. Along with the two photos, she will also ask if the individual has any specific color recommendations.

“As long as I need to,” Marra said in response to how long the initiative will remain active. “It’s a great way for me to give back and keep me sort of busy … I’ll do it as long as people have an interest.”

For information about donating to Hope For The Warriors and receiving a custom abstract painting from Marra, visit instagram.com/michellemarrastudio and send her a direct message or email [email protected]

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© 2020 Sun Sentinel

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