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Case Study, Our Production

Closed - Make Art Not War

Gainesville, Florida

$3,000.00 In-kind
96Sq Ft
Case Study, Our Production

Closed - Make Art Not War

$3,000.00 In-kind
Property ID : MANW
Created: February 20, 2022 Last Update: July 21, 2024 Print
96Sq Ft

Project Overview

The war in Ukraine started in 2014 following the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity. The first eight years of the conflict included the annexation of Crimea, cyber attacks, political tension, and the war in Donbas… But it wasn’t covered by the media all the time. That’s why a public art project Art United Us was launched in 2016-2017 to remind people that the war is still going on. About 50 big-scale murals, among them a mural in Avdiivka, a hot spot in the East of Ukraine were created. See selected artworks in Street Art News archive. Many artists painted in that dangerous area in the next several years. Recognizing the impact of famous artists, we decided to create another mural following Russia’s missile attacks on Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Requirement: The project aimed to leverage public art to support Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict. The goal was to create a mural that would not only raise funds but also foster awareness and solidarity within the community.

Artistic Style Desired:

  • Make Art Not War Design: Provided by Shepard Fairey, this design was released for free for non-commercial use to support Ukraine.
  • Local Artists Involvement: Visionary Fam, a team of local artists, executed the mural, emphasizing community engagement and participation.
  • Visible Location: The mural was strategically placed in a prominent location to maximize visibility and impact.

Make Art Not War

Submission Guidelines & Compensation

Artists and volunteers were invited to participate in the project through a direct invitation. The mural design was granted by Shepard Fairey and its execution involved collaboration with local artists Visionary Fam and property owners. The initiative was funded through community donations, with all raised funds directed to support individuals in Ukraine directly. Some materials were provided by Monochronicle.

Shepard Fairey: Shepard Fairey is a renowned American contemporary street artist, graphic designer, activist, and founder of OBEY Clothing, whose work has become a significant part of the street art movement. Fairey gained widespread recognition with his “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” (OBEY) sticker campaign and rose to prominence with his iconic “Hope” poster depicting Barack Obama during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign. His art often incorporates bold graphics and social commentary, addressing themes of politics, propaganda, and societal issues, making him a powerful voice in the art world. Fairey’s contributions extend beyond visual art, as he continuously engages in activism, using his creativity to advocate for change and inspire others.

Visionary Fam: Visionary Fam, the dynamic husband and wife muralist duo of Seck 37 and Carrie Martinez, has been transforming spaces with their vibrant and inspiring art since 2013. Based in Gainesville, Florida, they have painted over 200 murals for local businesses, making their work a familiar and cherished part of the city’s landscape. Their mission is to create murals that bring enjoyment and inspiration, reflecting the values and brands of the businesses they collaborate with. Known for their ability to transform rooms and buildings, Seck 37 and Carrie believe in the power of beautiful art to add value and create memorable experiences. Their vision extends beyond Gainesville, as they aspire to share their transformative art with communities worldwide.

Project Execution and Feedback

Community Feedback: “One person at the event said, ‘This mural is not going to help.’ And I agreed. Sure. But it’s a great tool for connecting people and raising awareness. Public art can deliver a message, save a moment in history, remind people what’s important and, if used wisely, influence and motivate. Even in a small town like Gainesville, Florida, a small group of people was able to collect some funds and help to buy a helmet, shoes for the frontline soldiers and also contribute to fixing the damaged roof of an apartment complex. Maybe it is just one insignificant action, but there are many of us and we are powerful together.” – Iryna Kanishcheva

Artist’s Feedback: “Monochronicle has been a game-changer for me as a public artist. The platform makes it incredibly easy to find opportunities and connect with clients seeking murals and other public art projects. From signing up to finalizing projects, Monochronicle ensures a smooth and professional experience. The communication tools are excellent, allowing for clear and timely exchanges. This was evident in my recent project, where my client and I effortlessly collaborated to bring their vision to life. My client also shared their satisfaction, highlighting how Monochronicle helped them find the perfect artist and made the entire process enjoyable and efficient. Monochronicle is a must-use for both artists looking for opportunities and clients wanting their visions professionally painted.”

Gainesville, Florida- Irina Kanishcheva (native from Lviv,  Ukraine, public art curator and producer), The Florida-based public art platform, Monochronicle, with the support of Shepard Fairey, organized a mural project to fundraise for Ukraine.  The design Make Art Not War was executed by a team of local artists, Visionary Fam. Raised money was sent to Ukrainians directly, without any big charities involved.

People for the People

During the unveiling, Iryna Kanishcheva introduced visitors to Ukrainian culture by offering free Borscht and Ukrainian vodka. This event fostered discussions about the situation in Ukraine, resulting in $3,000 raised. These funds provided immediate support, such as military supplies and building repairs to Ukrainians. The initiative collected $3,000, which was sent directly to individuals in Ukraine to provide immediate support. Examples of the impact include:

  • Rebuilding Homes: Some individuals could rebuild their homes.
  • Military Supplies: Activists like Vadim Bulik could buy helmets and other equipment to protect fighters.
  • Humanitarian Aid: Marina, a volunteer in Lviv, could buy shoes and clothes for soldiers and help refugees.


The “Can Art Help Fight a War?” initiative showcased the profound impact of public art in community engagement and social change. By raising funds and awareness, this project demonstrated how small, thoughtful actions can make a significant difference and exemplified how art can be a powerful tool for advocacy, connecting people, and promoting positive change. As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  

A Call for Action

Iryna Kanishcheva and the team of “Can Art Help Fight A War?” hope this initiative inspires others worldwide to use forums, panel discussions, media, and public art programs to highlight the problem of war and misinformation. By encouraging people to stand against violations of human rights and freedom, this project aims to foster global solidarity and advocacy for peace.

As an example, Iryna introduced the project at The Concert of Colors Forum on Community, Culture & Race in Detroit, MI, one of the Arab American National Museum’s signature annual events. This dynamic gathering of artists, activists, and advocates uses art and dialogue as tools for advocacy and community building. This year’s program featured a panel on “NO WAR ANYWHERE | How Artists Are Advocating for Peace.”

This case study underscores the transformative power of art in driving social impact and community engagement, demonstrating that even small actions can lead to meaningful change.

As an example, Iryna Kanishcheva introduced Can Art Help Fight A War project at The Concert of Colors Forum on Community, Culture & Race in Detroit, MI. It is one of the Arab American National Museum’s signature annual events, a dynamic gathering of artists, activists and advocates who use art and dialogue as a tool for advocacy and community building. This year’s program featured NO WAR ANYWHERE | How Artists Are Advocating for Peace panel.

Read and Share Publications About the Project

Can Art Help Fight a War, Press Release by Audrey Garcia (Barcelona, Spain in English)
Can Art Help fight a War, by Graffiti Street (London, UK in English)
Make Art Not War Recreating a Fairey Mural Helping Ukrainians in Gainseville Florida, by Brooklyn Street Art (Brooklyn, NY, USA in English)
Як Публічне Мистецтво Допомагає у Війні: Досвід Ірини Каніщевої, by Antikvar (Kyiv, Ukraine in Ukrainian)
Obey Contra la Guerra de Ucrania, by Neo2 (Madrid, Spain in Spanish)
Can Art Help fight a War, by I Support Street Art (Athens, Greece in English)
Make Art Not War Ukraine Public Art, by Shepard Fairey (Los Angeles, CA, USA, in English)
Can Art Help Fight A War? by Americans for the Arts (Washington D.C., USA in English)

Additional Information
Address: 20 N Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601, USA
City: Gainesville
Area: Downtown
Zip: 32607-4397
State: Florida
Country: United States

Agent Information


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How can we implement a groundbreaking public art program, form a diverse lineup of the world’s best muralists, and ensure support from the community? We have developed innovative programming in the…

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Artist Information

Visionary FAM

  • Mobile : 786-447-8503
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Cuban-American artist and Visionary FAM event producer Jesus Martinez was born and raised in Miami, Florida where he started making art at the early age of 12 by sneaking…

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