Many news stories covering Candy Water’s art say the sale of the artwork has a charitable component, with half of the proceeds benefiting others with autism through the Kind Tree-Autism Rocks Foundation.
For example, in a recent article that was posted to the Autism Speaks website, it states:
…Kind Tree-Autism Rocks Foundation. Half of all proceeds from the sales of Candy’s prints are going to help others on the autism spectrum fulfill their dreams of becoming artists…
In an effort to find out the accuracy of this statement, we reached out to Kind Tree. According to them:
- Kind Tree-Autism Rocks Foundation does not sell work by Candy Waters. Their whole sales portal shut down last year.
- Artists were paid 50% of the sale of their reproductions that they printed and that came through their sales portal.
- Annual sales of Candy Waters through KindTree were roughly only $50.00 with 50% of that going to the foundation.
- Other sales Candy might have through her mother’s websites do not benefit KindTree.
- KindTree also could not comment on whether or not Candy created the art because they did not require proof of disability or a certificate of authenticity for the art.
So it is clear that the Zazzle sales do not benefit this charity and are a separate endeavor.
Besides Zazzle, Candy’s work appears for sale with We Are Lions. We Are Lions is not a charity and according to them:
I have never seen her make artwork personally, no. I cannot speak for what Candy and her family profess to be doing on their zazzle page, but We Are Lions is not a charity nor do we claim to be. We believe that these artists are talented individuals and through the sale of their artwork, handouts are not encouraged or necessary.
That being said, we give our artists and non-profit partners commission rates and royalty fees of 50% of net profits. When someone purchases from wearelions.org, a for-profit company, the consumer is not donating money directly to the organization or charity in which the original piece of artwork sold came from.
It also appears that We Are Lions has since removed Candy’s work from their shop.
This blog is in no way a personal attack on Candy Waters or her family, or on special needs children. The item in question is the authenticity of the artwork being sold online and the validity of the statement that it has a charitable mission for Autism.
When direct inquiries to Sandy regarding Candy’s process and whether a child with Autism created the work being sold were deleted on the Candy Waters Autism Artist Facebook page and other posts administrated by Sandy Waters, the discussion moved elsewhere in an effort to find out if anyone truly has seen this child create these paintings claimed to be made by her, or could provide proof of their authenticity. Naturally, people and organizations that had published interviews on the artwork were also contacted in an effort to prove their authenticity. To this date, none of the organizations contacted can attest to Candy actually creating the paintings sold on the zazzle shop and the only video published of Candy painting has been suddenly removed from YouTube. The foundations affiliated with the sale of the artwork also do not seem to have a charity component for the sale of the artwork, nor any involvement with the artwork on zazzle, as has been previously advertised.