Prayer Candles for COVID-19 Relief Efforts

UPDATE: In Spring 2020, the prayer candles were acquired by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History as part of their COVID-19 pandemic collection efforts.

“The new materials will join long-standing existing collections documenting past epidemics and pandemics, as well as other national crises such as the Great Depression and the Sept. 11 attacks.”
Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History


It has always been my wish that the art I produce would 1) educate, 2) entertain or 3) advocate for causes I believe in. On several occasions, I have been fortunate to witness positive responses to my work.

Subjects of the COVID-19 prayer candle series
Subjects of the COVID-19 prayer candle series

Kelly Carnes, a local PR pro who has her own candle shop on Etsy, whipped up 98 prayer candles printed with a beatific photo of Andrés in his chef coat, created by graphic designer Kodi Seaton. (Celebrity prayer candles have been trending for awhile now). After sharing the page for the $20 candle on her social media accounts, local blog Popville picked it up, and she quickly sold all her stock yesterday. Carnes says she will donate all the profits (about $1,500 and counting) to Andrés’s hunger relief organization World Central Kitchen.

— Eater DC

With COVID-19 ravaging the United States and the world, it has been a welcome distraction to produce these items while sheltering-in-place and help foster community and generosity.

I recently collaborated with DC bon vivant Kelly Carnes to create a series of prayer candles to benefit several worthwhile charities. Those honored include:

We are extremely proud of the reception and the opportunity to help others.

For more on Kelly Carnes (as well as her candle brand Moonstruck), please visit https://www.carnesand.co.

COVID-19 prayer candle series labels
COVID-19 prayer candle series labels

Please take care of yourselves, your families and your community. For information on how to create your own face mask, please click here for a tutorial from Mashable.


Coverage:

Eater:
https://dc.eater.com/2020/3/31/21200299/jose-andres-prayer-candle-etsy-charity-world-central-kitchen

PoPville:
https://www.popville.com/2020/03/100-of-the-profits-from-these-candles-will-be-donated-to-world-central-kitchen/

Brightest Young Things:
https://brightestyoungthings.com/articles/diary-of-an-extrovert-in-isolation

STATEMENT: National Museum of American History Implements Collecting Strategy in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: https://americanhistory.si.edu/press/releases/statement-national-museum-american-history-implements-collecting-strategy-response