Emmaline Landes, 17, of El Dorado, Arkansas, a senior at El Dorado High School, has raised more than $16,000 since 2013 for nonprofit agencies and various causes by selling or donating more than 300 pieces of her original artwork. At age 11, Emmaline began painting portraits of animals at a local shelter, which were then auctioned at the shelter’s annual ball. When the first one sold for $500, “I realized I could make a difference through my artwork,” she said. Working mainly with acrylics on canvas, she started making paintings for other nonprofits in her community, and later formed a nonprofit called “Heartworks” in memory of her grandmother, who died of ALS in 2016.
Proceeds from the sale of Emmaline’s paintings have gone to address a wide range of causes she cares about, including child abuse, homelessness, animal adoption, hunger, affordable healthcare and art education. She also has used her art to help peers in need. Emmaline’s first art show raised funds to cover travel costs for a friend receiving medical care, to buy personal care items for a peer whose family is affected by AIDS and to supply weekend meals for kids who don’t have enough to eat at home. A second art show generated funds to purchase medical supplies and equipment for people with ALS and other debilitating diseases. In addition, Emmaline has created a series of paintings of fetal ultrasound images, which are being donated to purchase baby supplies and clothing for peers who become pregnant in high school. “It is my hope that my work reflects the joy I feel from helping others,” she said.