St. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA –
Vibrant paints, a wall of canvases and a loud chorus of laughter mark the collaboration of Best Buddies in Russia and Pepelangelo, the renowned meme artist. Best known for her classical depictions of Pepe the Frog, Olga Vishnevsky’s work has brought her legions of fans from around the globe, who prize her paintings as masterful depictions of their favorite memes.
Being a successful meme artist has its perks.
As massively popular Pepe the Frog memes gave rise to the phenomenon known as “Rare Pepes,” meme fans began to invest heavily into their favorite works of art. This success has enabled Pepelangelo to generously contribute to non-profit organizations that inspire her, including Best Buddies.
The mission of Best Buddies International is to establish a “global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).” (bestbuddies.org) As a 501(c)(3) organization, Best Buddies has helped build friendships, secure jobs, provide education and improve living situations for thousands of participants in over 56 countries and all 50 US states.
An afternoon of painting turned out to be the perfect way to discover new ways of self-expression and create some beautiful art. Vishnevsky’s characteristic green frogs can be seen in a new style, dancing on a colorful meadow while they chase butterflies and pick berries. Though these Pepes display a variety of dance moves, one feature unites them: the iconic, carefree smile.
The connections between meme art and charity
may still be in their infancy, but it’s clear that there will be many more days like this to come. As the group poses for a picture with the Best Buddies flag, their smiles and waves indicate that lifelong friendships have just been made.
Though Pepelangelo first made her mark in the physical art realm, she is now set to break into the booming digital art world of NFTs. Through a collaboration with RAREPEPES.COM, Pepelangelo is set to release her highly anticipated debut NFT series to her fans around the globe. Many NFT projects have charitable events on their roadmaps, and the generosity of the meme community continues to astound non-profits around the globe.