To say that local artist and volunteer Anup Bhandari immerses himself in the community might be an understatement. Since moving to East Texas ten years ago, he has shown he has a servant’s heart and a dedicated spirit, no matter what the cause.
The Longview Museum of Fine Art (LMFA) is one non-profit organization that benefits from Mr. Bhandaris’ volunteer service. On Saturday evening, August 25, the museum will present Diamonds & Dice Casino Night 2012. As a member of the board of directors, Mr. Bhandari invites the community to join in for an evening of Vegas style fun in support of this annual fundraising event. The evening will include dining, gaming, both silent and live auctions, and much more!
“The museum is a great asset to our community and proceeds from this fundraiser will help promote visual art in our city and surrounding communities,” Mr. Bhandari said.
At Newgate Mission in Longview, Mr. Bhandari is using his artistic ability to reach out to the homeless and marginalized clients in the community. He recently began the Healing Art Project, and through art lessons he offers at the mission, the homeless are able to express their experiences on canvas. Their work has been shown, and available for sale, at art shows held at the Longview Public Library and the LMFA, with proceeds benefiting Newgate Mission.
Mr. Bhandari also began a photography project at Newgate Mission. The From the Eyes of the Homeless project offers mission clients the opportunity to capture their day-to-day life on film. The photographs are touching and powerful, and capture images that most would not imagine or ever see in our own everyday life. Several of the photographs were entered in a recent bank exhibition with one photographer receiving an honorable mention award.
“The main goal of these projects,” Mr. Bhandari said, “is to bring hope and healing to the homeless as they express their thoughts and emotions in a creative way.”
In 2010, Mr. Bhandari began a blanket drive for the homeless population in our community. That first year more than 500 blankets were collected and distributed to area homeless shelters, and last year’s drive brought in more than 300 blankets.
Born in Hetauda, Nepal, Mr. Bhandari has lived in East Texas for ten years. He graduated from Budhanilkantha School in Kathmandu, Nepal, and received his associate’s degree at Kilgore Junior College and his bachelor of fine arts degree from The University of Texas at Tyler. Mr. Bhandari and his wife, Astha Tuladhar, have been married four years.
Mr. Bhandaris’ volunteer spirit touches not only Longview and East Texas, but reaches across the ocean. Through his own art shows and sales, he has donated proceeds which benefit national and world- wide tragedies. In 2005, Texas Bank and Trust was honored to host one of Mr. Bhandari’s first shows, with all proceeds to benefit the Indian Ocean tsunami victims.
“When I volunteer, I do it from my heart,” Mr. Bhandari said. “Assisting others in your community can put a smile on someone’s face. There is no race and religion when helping others. You can use your skills and experience to help and enrich the local community. We all should ‘Love All and Serve All.’ ”