Blank canvases with different paints sitting on the sideline ready to be used, silhouettes and calpperboards used in the “1, 2, 3, action” sequence of a movie are just some of the designs people can choose from in a selection of Freshstart Brands T-shirts to represent the Queens Council on the Arts.
Thanks to a partnership between Freshstart Brands, owned by Adam Reznikoff, and QCA, those who order a specially designed T-shirt can give back to the Queens arts community, and sport an original work of art.
“I think not just Queens, but any artist should know about Adam’s products and business,” Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, executive director of QCA, said. “Philanthropy can be done on any level.”
Reznikoff, originally from Valley Stream, LI, recently went to QCA asking to include it in the list of organizations he tries to give back to — his website, however, has been live since June. When he came to QCA, Krakauer said, she checked out his business and thought the council should try it out.
“I liked the energy of the website and what he was trying to do,” she said. “I figured, you know what, let’s see how it goes.”
“We want people to know that some of the money they spend is going to go back into their community and support good causes,” Reznikoff said.
His company gives back to a number of different organizations ranging from arts councils to land conservationists in various counties. Each design purchased online gives $5 to the organization the customer chooses.
Reznikoff asked his friend, Liane Torre, an artist from Jackson Heights, to be one of the first artists to help in the development of his company. Two of her designs, the blank canvases and clapperboard, support arts councils including QCA.
“I thought it was a really good idea,” Torre said, adding that in the early steps of Freshstart Brands, she would help Reznikoff as an art director.
Torre studied art and architecture, and received her BFA and MFA at City College. She has created films about art and architecture and currently works as a painter in Hillsdale, NY.
Lauren Kim, another Queens artist and Rhode Island School of Design student, is also working with Reznikoff to create T-shirt designs, although those have not been released yet. Her works are on a variety of platforms, though, including gauche and watercolor. She is currently studying textiles at Konstfack in Sweden.
“We want to produce and deliver products and services,” Reznikoff said. “We built giving back into our model.”
To learn more and purchase shirts to support the Queens Council on the Arts, go to freshstartbrands.com.