Jean and John Bolivar, board members of House of Stone, a non-profit that raises funds for disadvantaged Zimbabwean children, are hosting a garden party fundraiser on Saturday. More than 90 African statues are scattered throughout their house, and a six-foot-tall stone statue of an African mother and child is currently in their driveway.
The free garden party from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday is open to the public, at 6706 Cleopatra Pl. NW. Sculptures are priced for a variety of budgets, and there will also be crafts and jewelry from several programs that House of Stone supports.
The statues represent over 30 artists, including many from the artist colony of Tengenenge, Zimbabwe. Some of the world-famous Zimbabwean artists whose work will be shown are: Fanizani Akuda, Davison Chakawa, Josiah Manzi, Conducto Kagore, Stanford Derere as well as many lesser known artists. The show will also feature the first US showing of Goodson Mlera’s stunning statues of African women, including several large pieces over 5 feet tall. Many of the featured artists are represented in the world’s finest galleries and museums.
House of Stone was founded in 2000 by two pediatricians, Susanne Martin Herz and Arnd Herz, formerly of Seattle. They saw an opportunity to strengthen Zimbabwean communities while supporting artists and raising awareness about the HIV/AIDS crisis in Southern Africa. House of Stone primarily raises funds through the sale of Zimbabwean “Shona” sculpture – African stone sculpture from Zimbabwe is often called Shona sculpture, named after the largest tribe engaged in sculpting. In 2010, HOS helped fund a preschool for the deaf, provided education and warm meals for 270 preschoolers, supported job-skills training for vulnerable girls, and maintained programs at preschools that were under threat of closure. Past events in San Francisco helped House of Stone raise over $100,000 for vulnerable Zimbabwean children, while supporting the livelihood of Zimbabwean artists. Over 95% of funds raised go back to help the children of Zimbabwe.