International open call results
and online exhibiton project on exploring the term kindness thoughout the world
Benjamin Styer

Project by Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in collaboration with
Mothflower founder, Brit Pruiksma
In between 2020 and 2021, by now the two strangest years of the millenium for humanity, we have decided to throw a peculiar boomerang that flew above many countries, despite the boundaries closures.
It returned to us with the most unusual and inspiring gifts of many forms. By looking through them, we learned that kindness can still be found. Within people, nature, animals, homes, touch, time, distance and basically almost anything, it only takes us to look a bit more attentively.
We would like to introduce artists around the world that expressed their vision of what will promote and celebrate a culture of diversity, acceptance, and cooperative living, in all of its complexity and richness.
Countries took part in the open call
Artworks received
Personal stories


We would like to extend our gratitude to the talented artists
For the remarkable and inspiring images that helped us to promote the open call

Jon Klassen
Benjamin Styer
Benjamin Terrell
Elizabeth Shull
Stephen W. Evans
Aurélie Salavert

Chi Cheng Instagram: @ctlcheng
Sanyi, Taiwan / London, UK

Materials: Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: 50cm x 60cm

Curator's choice

/ Title: The Boy with Two Birds
/ Title: Hold My Hand

Roman Manikhin Instagram:
Moscow, Russia

Materials: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 100cm х90cm

Choice of the Jewish Museum & Tolerance Center

Gustavo Pérez Lacruz Instagram: @gnuinart
Valencia, Spain

Materials: Conte pencil and charcoal on paper Dimensions: 100cm x 70cm

Choice of UNESCO Russian NatCom

/ Title: Beauty And The Beast
Project Curator, Founder of Mothflower
Brit Pruiksma
& Tolerance
Etery Ordzhonikidze,
Head of International Projects
Staff Members
Special Choice
Brit Pruiksma
Although kindness is a seemingly simple and straight-forward concept, it is all-too-often overlooked, under-practiced and under-valued, even toward ourselves.

Kindness includes so many important ingredients: respect, love, attention, sharing, listening, hearing, helping, tolerance and thoughtfulness. We have all witnessed an example of kindness at least once in our lives, and appreciated its gentle, inspiring power.


In 2020, Brit Pruiksma created her @mothflower_ Instagram account in order to catalogue and share her favourite artwork. Her account heading features a quotation by Meister Eckhart:

"When the Soul wants to experience something, she throws an image out in front of her and then steps into it."

Brit's view is that images have transformative power. Her daily postings of lyrical, peculiar, moving and amusing works have attracted more than 33K followers. The account has blossomed into a wonderful interactive community of international artists, art enthusiasts, collectors and gallerists and she has drawn invitations to both collaborate on and independently curate exhibitions.

Earlier last year, during the first lockdown, she was approached by Distance Gallery to curate an online exhibition on the theme of "windows". A native of New York, where she studied fine arts and fashion design, Brit now lives in the UK with her family.
A few words about our special curator
Entries were judged on the basis of originality, creative imagination, artistic quality, adherence to the topic and rules established for the contest.
Explore Each Artwork
Click on every image to find out more on the artwork and authors
I would like to consider the definition of kindness as the basis for the union of two people. Kindness shown in a small union grows through people and goes out into a large society. Therefore, it is so important to be kind to yourself and the person next to you.
Kindness is a manifestation of sincere attitude, respect and care for each other in everyday and everyday affairs.
Let these two readers be a symbol of the creation and observation of kindness towards the one who is next to you.

Instagram @natalya.kazakova

Title: Night Reading / Natalya Kazakova / Russia
Materials: Acrylic, Canvas Size: 60 x 60 cm
"The act of depicting something, of staring at it for hours and drawing carefully means nothing but love. I've chosen this media (Microsoft Paint) because it makes draw with the mouse and it slows a lot my process. I literally drew dot by dot, line by line it also makes contrast (past and present) with the subject I chose, which is an ammonite fossil.
Fossils are life forms preserved, what`s left of them, they also represent the idea of science and nature study which I think is (as well as drawing) an act of love.
This is a conceptual work that has some influence from the idea of scientific illustration which, as my grandpa says, is where love meets science.
I`ve never had a pet, but for those who have one, be kind to them and love them in your own way!
Respect, love and kindness can take various forms".

Instagram: @r0mbito

Untitled / Piero Figueroa Bravo / Lima, Peru
Materials: Microsoft Paint (mouse) Dimensions: 2500 x 2500 pixels Instagram: @pierofigueroabravo @r0mbito
This painting was inspired by a little migratory bird who flew into the window of my mother's house in Uruguay and died, its body still warm when we found it.
It made me think of all the birds, metaphorical and real, that die because we put up deceptive fronts to keep us separate from them. It extends a warm embrace to beings that must travel far to survive, and those that die on the journey.

Instagram: @carolina_aguirre

Title: For the Fallen Birds / Carolina Aguirre / London, UK
Materials: Acrylic on paper, dimensions: 28.5 x 28.5cm
Untitled / Jo Ngo / Saigon, Vietnam
Untitled / Lucas Pertile / Buenos Aires, Argentina
Untitled / Julia Skalauh / Harkiv, Ukraine
Untitled / Nagehan Fenman / Istanbul. Turkey
Title: The Hug / Mary Herbert / London, UK
Paloma Escolar de Miguel / Madrid, Spain
Title: Greeting / Scott Daniel Ellison / USA
Title: In the Eye of the Beholder / Frankie Gardiner / Vermont, USA
Title: Little Bird / Ben Walker / Kent, UK
Untitled / Linette No / Bordeaux, France
Title: The Friend / Linda Schwab / Leeds, UK
Title: Sweet Milk Coffee / Heidrun Rathgeb /Horgenzell, Germany
Title: Scene from home / Benjamin Robinson / New York, USA
Title: Hands and Hare / Lina Tharsing / Lexington, Kentucky / Oil on Panel
My partner and I were hiking out at a friend's farm, taking a much needed break from our Covid anxiety. While walking through a large field towards the creek, I heard our friend's dog a few yards back. I turned around and saw that Bonnie had caught something and she was tossing it up in the air, grabbing it and tossing it again. I screamed for her to come to us, but she's a wild farm dog and doesn't know any commands. She trotted off to get some water and I ran up through the field to where the creature was. Bonnie had caught a rabbit. He was breathing hard. My partner turned him over to see if he had any wounds, and he lept away. We could see that his back left leg was paralyzed.

My partner took a photo of me placing my hands in front of the hare, as a way of introducing myself. I wanted the rabbit to see that I had no intention of harming it, and then I scooped him up, folded him into my shirt and carried him all the way back to our friend's cabin. I don't know why I did this other than that I felt like it's one thing for a rabbit to be injured or killed by a hawk. This felt like it was our fault for bringing our friend's dog on the walk with us, and I couldn't just leave him injured in the field. An amazing thing happened when I picked him up and cradled him against my heart - he calmed right down. We ended up driving him, tucked in my shirt, the hour back to town. I had this foolish idea that I would call a wildlife rehabber and immediately drop him off into their care.

However, it was Memorial Day weekend in the middle of a pandemic and of the 10 places I called, none picked up. I made a little place for him in the shower. I turned a cardboard box on it's side and put towels inside it for a nest, and then a dish of water, a dish of oats, and some carrots and dandelion greens on the floor of the shower stall. I thought we would only have him for a day or two, but that day or two turned into a week. Every day I would clean out the shower, put new towels in his box, and fresh water and fresh food. The rabbit never seemed scared of me so I ended up plucking all the ticks off of him. When I cleaned the shower, I would put him in his clean box and carry him into the kitchen and close him in there. Meanwhile, I was calling every single vet in Lexington to see if they knew a rehabber or if they would look at him and tell me if I could release him, but nobody would help me. It's illegal to house a wild animal, so nobody would look at him, even though I made it clear that I just wanted to take him back to his home in the field.

One woman told me I could put him in her barn with her rabbits, and that they loved sugary cereal. Of course, sugary cereal is about the worst thing on earth you can feed a rabbit. I started to imagine a place for him. I imagined a vet out in the country who lived in an old Victorian country house on a circular drive, surrounded by fields. I decided that I would take care of him as long as I needed to until I found the right person to give him to. Then, I suddenly remembered a client of mine who I know has rescued all types of animals. I called her and she gave me the name of her vet in Midway, Kentucky.

The vet said that it was no problem and to drive him out to her. So that last day, I left him in the kitchen, and it was the first time I actually saw him escape out of his box! He was running around! It seemed like he was ready. My neighbor brought us strawberries from Elmwood Farm and so Bunya had a few strawberries on his ride out to Midway. When we pulled up the country lane, I could not believe my eyes! The property and house were exactly as I had imagined them! The vet was located in an old Victorian farmhouse and she was so incredibly kind, she took him and treated him for a few days before giving him to a wildlife center and never charged me a cent. Apparently his paralyzed leg was due to a neurological condition and not the dog. In the end, I felt the rabbit gave me an opportunity to care and nurture a small piece of our wilderness.
Nature provides us with everything we need to live as humans (and animals). After a summer rain is usually when mushrooms sprout out of the ground which may give us both physical and spiritual sustenance. It's important to be grateful and to view everything nature gives us as a gift.

Instagram: @danmakesart

Title: A Gift From The Rain / Dan Brenton / Grantham, New Hampshire, USA
Materials: watercolor on paper, dimensions: 20 x15 cm
Title: Woman Carrying the Light / Bartosz Fraczek / Poland
Title: Les Soeurs/Sisters / Line Hachem / Paris, France
Titile: Hug / Vinna Begin / Montreal, Canada
Untitled / Yoana Ivanova / Sofia, Bulgaria
Title: Healing Hands / Valerie Hammond / New York, USA
 Title: Mother & Child / Jasenko Dordevic / Bosnia
Title: Caretaker / Dragoş Bădiţă / Bucharest, Romania
Title: Heartly and The Altruist / Deborah Brown /
Untitled / Nancy Diamond / New York. USA
Title: Compassion / Marta Balla / Budapest, Hungary
Title: Mutual Support / Stella Tripp / Exeter UK
Title: Forest Pool Without Swan / Marc Dettmann / Leipzig, Germany

Untitled / Christopher Colm Morrin / Berlin, Germany
Materials: oil, pastel, chalk & ink on linen (canvas in artist frame), dimensions: 50 x 40 cm
A short story about the importance of friendship and hearing your heart.

For quite a while I was creating works too much from an overthinking mind, along with depression causing havoc in my life. One day a close friend of mine came to visit my studio for tea and to check out some latest works. At the time, most of the paintings hanging on the wall were based on obsessions and past traumas. Thankfully, she immediately noticed this one. She explained to me how she could see my heart and imagination finally expressing itself. She got excited, yet I was still cautious to understand its impact on me and I felt slightly intimidated by the painting's childlike edge.

She made me realize that the painting was basically an expression of kindness towards myself. Some light shining through the darkness. What's even more lovely, is that friendship helped me to grasp such a crucial understanding. At the time of creating it, I was not really thinking of anything in particular, I was relaxed, off guard. Peaceful. A rare feeling. A feeling I've learned to never forget.

The truth is, at first, I didn't see my own heart reaching out to me. I was blind to it. It took someone else to point it out. I realize that the clarity of the heart is what we all deserve. I count myself lucky. Lucky to have such a great friend and to be able to value the importance of friendship in life.

Instagram: @christopher_colm_morrin
Title: Encounter of two suns / Alejandro Acevedo / Mexico
Materials: acrylic on canvas, 80 x 100 cm, Instagram: @alx_acvd

Title: The Embrace / Matt Jones / New York, United States

Materials/Medium: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 50 x 60 inches
Instagram: @mattjonesstudio
Untitled / Dafna Barzilay / Tel Aviv, Israel / Materials: acrylic painted cutouts and procreate, 30 x 25 cm Instagram: @dafbarzy
'Forexist' means a combination of forest and coexistence. I have felt the huge acceptance and coexistence in this forest as it's a mixture of many different forms of odd nature.

In the picture, the trees are somewhat spotted or with flecks of different colours, scratched or divided. However they can coexist in the frame, living together. In this globalised world, I assume kindness is also a form of tolerance and respect to diversity and differences.

Tiny human; Modesty is what we truly need. The truth is we are all just like little knablicks coexist with our environment.

Instagram: @jeanniemagicar

Title: Forextist / Sunjin Won / Seoul, South Korea
Materials : oil on canvas, Dimensions: 72.7 x 121.2 cm
Title: 'What is kindness?' asked the girl. 'Kindness is everything and more,' said the tiger
/ by Mimi Ledeboer-Opdam / Kigali, Rwanda

Materials: acrylic, oil and colored pencils on 180g/83lb grain paper.
Dimensions: 29,7x42cm / 11.7x16.6inch
Instagram: @meartstudio
"In 'Granddad's boat' I reflect on my childhood
Where the wind sang me songs and water enfolded me
Where the light turned dark
Where I found safety in nature
Wich gave me a window to a better place
In 'Granddad's boat' I sail back
to fill the gap of lonelyness
betweeen me and my two brothers
As an act of love and respect towards them
as an act of kindness towards myself"

Instagram: @elise_klinkert

Title: Granddad's Boat / Elise Klinkert / Netherlands
Materials : acrylic and gold leaf on linen, Dimensions : 80 x 100 cm
Explore Other Stories
Turn the pages of this little gallery bellow to find out some more about Kindness in people's lives
All art and photo materials belong to their owners. Please, contact artists before using their works online and do not forget to tag/name them.

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