Today was incredibly inspiring for me and the possibilities of Art healing our planet and those less fortunate in Haiti and threading a connection with our community here in Newark and Licking county. The LCA has had the opportunity to embrace and support a very talented young photographer, Jessie Phelps has shared with me her journal photographs while she studied abroad for a semester in Italy last year. Her camera lens transports her viewers to places, times and cultures we may never have the opportunity to travel to in a photon of light. She went on a quest to Haiti with a group of physicians from Granville with the hope of bringing back a story that should not be ignored. I met with Lyn Logan-Grimes so Jessie could share her portfolio and make a connection to bring this young photographer down to the central gallery this summer for the Art Camps, COTC photography summer camp, and the upcoming Art Walk 2009 on August 1st. We are hopefully going to be able to raise some funds for Jessie to continue her journey's quest. She desires to go to Santiago, Chile in September to volunteer in an orphanage for the street children. Now you can understand why my heart was so moved and how an artist's passion can "saves lives". This small, frail woman with clear blue eyes sees the world with the murmurs she feels in her heart. Today was just a beginning but with others helping and Lyn's possible connections over in Columbus this story can help spread the message. I will keep you posted on the progress of this exciting collaboration. The intimacy exposed in her photographs opens the viewer's mind and heart to making a change to break the poverty chain of loss and neglect.
I spent the afternoon searching out special materials for an online "play" collaboration with the process of disintegration in Nature. For the last year I have been following a generous artist living in New York City and his almost autobiographical approach to making his marks both alone and with the network of artists from around the globe. Tomorrow, I will finally get to tie up loose ends and place the project in my "sacred space" (This will make sense later when you see my project.) until May but first I plan to document with a digital photograph to share with my friends over the Internet. This process is a total leap of faith and trust to be shared and nurtured and maybe, just maybe evolve into another quiet yet visible event. Fragility is just one component of living here on this sacred planet so why not include this process as an element in the design. Art is not a thing to be owned...it is the way to make a life. Art is an act of human compassion shared . Imagine and live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart