In the past couple years I have been privileged to get the opportunity to do large-scale public work with organizations in Omaha--and have had it be the best work I can think of to do. Its a rare opportunity that I do not take lightly. These have each evolved organically out of conversations where I find an aspect of the work of the organization touches a social justice nerve of mine and dovetails into the strength of the narrative work which I produce.
This year is a big one for me--I have 3 projects happening with 3 different organizations (Habitat for Humanity, Justice For Our Neighbors and InCommon Community Development) all of which I feel passionately about. However, passionate Nonprofits are working as hard as they can already, stretching every dollar to make the impact of 2 or 3. Grantwriting assistance, donor cultivation and fundraising are now coming out of my studio as well.
Which brings me to the project that I am currently working hard on. All That Ever Was, Always Is. I really am happy about where this project is going. Anyone who actually knows me probably has an idea how seldom I say that.
Just over a year ago, I made paintings to go in all the windows of a house in North Omaha and my assistant, Peter Cales, made some benches out of material we took from the house. What people then got out of that house installation, located in North Omaha, astounded me. Neighbors who had thought it was a crack house or a den of prostitution, were moved by this surprising thing of beauty and upset that the house was to be demolished. People from all over the city came to a part of town they had been scared to travel into, and found that it sparked their imagination. Artists I deeply respect said moving things to me about the significance of what had been done.
Habitat for Humanity-Omaha then gave me two homes, slated for demolition. Neighbors at 16th/Emmet. Having spent 6 months working on the first house and still hoping to sell a single painting from it, I am turning to crowdsourcing to fund the painting, construction, installation and Public engagement for it. I went live with a campaign through HATCHFUND, a crowd-sourcing platform that, like me, lives in Omaha.
Please, take a look. Donate.