Paintbrushes and pigs came together to support a local nonprofit last weekend.
Painting with a Pig, an event that local fundraising group Painting with a Pit hosted on Sunday, raised over $1,000 for Peacefield Farm Sanctuary.
“My passion has always been animals,” Samm Epstein said. “I wanted to utilize my art as a way to give back to animals in the community.”
Epstein, 29, is a Gainesville-based full-time artist who founded Painting with a Pit. She described it as the fundraising arm of her art business. Epstein donates art supplies and teaches people to paint. Her two-year-old program has raised about $15,000 for local animal-related charities.
On Sunday, 26 people turned up for the event, with tickets costing $40 per person. The attendance fee revenue was all donated to Peacefield Farm Sanctuary. Epstein donates the art supplies and her knowledge free of charge.
Peacefield Farm Sanctuary, located at 2220 SW 146th St. in Newberry, is owned by Emma and John Hoel. John Hoel, 39, said they opened the farm in April 2019 to rescue animals in abusive situations and promote plant-based living.
“This is our passion project,” Hoel said. “We cashed in our savings to follow this dream.”
While the sanctuary is welcoming to people of all lifestyles, Hoel said he hopes coming face-to-face with common farm animals will help people see where their food actually comes from.
Hoel said he and his wife became vegan four years ago for health reasons.
“An unexpected benefit of that is we felt a much stronger connection to animals. Once we stopped eating them,” he said, “we saw them in a different way.”
Hoel said his animals live out their lives without any job but to “be ambassadors for their brothers and sisters” who weren’t fortunate enough to be rescued.
He said the farm is open every day to anyone who has a bad day or just wants to stop by and cuddle some pigs.