Come Alive Outside Unveils Distinctive Luggage Art Fundraiser

“Groovy Hummingbirds” by Jim Boughton. Photo provided by Haley Rice.

RUTLAND, Vt. – Come Alive Outside is auctioning off unique, hand painted luggage by local artists online Dec. 8- Dec. 14. Over 20 artists participated in the project, with skill sets ranging from elementary school Picassos to professional artists. Award-winning actress Chrissy Metz donated her talents to the auction by designing a special piece. The auction, which also includes 4 luxury getaways, will be exclusively online at

Metz was invited to design a bag for Come Alive Outside and embraced the challenge with a personal design. “I chose to use the lyrics of my song, “Girl Go,” as it’s an uplifting anthem for me when I second guess my dreams and desires,” said Metz.

The fundraiser is the brainchild of Olivia Lyons, Come Alive Outside board member and Communications and Marketing Manager for the Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region. “Growing up in Rutland, I witnessed various local art projects over the years which were created to raise money for victims of Tropical Storm Irene and children’s art education, to name a few,” recounts Lyons. “When brainstorming ways to raise money for Come Alive Outside (CAO), I immediately recalled those past art project fundraisers and thought inviting artists, of all skill levels, to create nature-designed luggage would be perfect! I hope participating artists are inspired by the beauty, freedom, and healing effects of nature via this project.”

For the fundraiser, Come Alive Outside asked artists to take a piece of Monos luggage and make it into art. Artists had one guiding principle, which was to make the designs nature-themed in keeping with Come Alive Outside’s ethos. Everything else was up to the artists, including type of luggage and placement of the design. “We had no idea what the artists would create, but we have been overwhelmed by the level of talent and variety of the pieces,” said Come Alive Outside program manager Haley Rice. “Everytime a new piece of luggage would come in, it was like Christmas morning. These pieces are all so unique and each artist’s talent really shines.”

Monos luggage discovered Come Alive Outside through their shared membership in 1% For the Planet. Impressed by Come Alive Outside’s mission, Monos generously donated different sizes and types of luggage to the nonprofit, which retails from $245- $450 per piece. Come Alive Outside plans to start our bidding at $50, with artists taking a commission. Proceeds from the auction will go to fund Come Alive Outside’s new Outdoor Gear Library that aims to reduce barriers for underserved populations to comfortably connect with nature.

The auction begins Dec. 8, and runs through Dec. 14. Bids start at $50 per piece and pieces are available for pickup after the auction. Shipping requires an additional fee. Additionally, there are 4 Trips being auctioned off where winners can enjoy their love of nature in places like Colorado, Bali, and Yosemite.

For more information, visit or email Come Alive Outside is a 501c3 nonprofit founded in 2014 that works closely with partners in healthcare, public health, outdoor recreation, and the landscape profession to connect individuals, families, and entire communities to the health and wellness benefits of outdoor spaces where they live, work, and play.

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