Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Call to Pittsburgh Artists, Child in Need, Bedroom Murals of Zelda and Star Wars

Cross post from our good friend Rick Byerly, at The Pittsburgh Art Blog.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This is a repost for an appeal to Pittsburgh area artists who can paint bedroom murals for a child with serious medical problems. I'll cover the painting supplies if we can find a qualified artist. Email jamieholmes05(AT)comcast.net your name, some portfolio work (preferably an online link like a website or the pgh artist registry which is free) and your phone number.

Thank you for your help in spreading this info. The clock is ticking.

Rick Byerly


A few weeks ago I was contacted for help in finding Pittsburgh area artists who would be willing and able to donate their services to help 9 year old Zachary Mulvey achieve a higher quality of life. Jamie's Dream Team is run by 23 year old Jamie Holmes and they are looking for area artists who can paint murals on his bedroom walls of interest to Zachary like Star Wars and the Legend of Zelda. I hope anyone reading this will forward this along, post on blogs not only to get the attention of area artists but also to anyone willing to donate to this amazing cause (Jamie's Dream Team is a registered 501 c 3 non-profit).

To Pittsburgh area artists who think they may be a good fit contact Jamie Holmes either by phone (412) 302-1500 )or email ( jamieholmes05(AT)comcast.net )

Jamie's Dream Team also has a website here. The donation link can be found here.

Jamie's letter below has the full story which speaks for itself...


Rick Byerly, Uniquetake Photography, Pittsburgh, PA

Dear Mr. Byerly:

My name is Jamie Holmes, I am twenty-three (23) years old, and I am the founder of Jamie’s Dream Team. I am writing as a follow-up to the telephone conversation that you had on August 3, 2010 with my Mother, Kim Shidel, who is the First Vice-President of Jamie’s Dream Team. Jamie’s Dream Team is a nonprofit corporation that has been granted a 501(c)(3) designation from the Internal Revenue Service. A copy of the 501(c)(3) determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service for Jamie’s Dream Team is enclosed. The mission of Jamie’s Dream Team is to lift the spirits of those suffering from, and ease the burden caused by serious illness, injury, disability or trauma by granting assistance and/or “dreams” to those individuals. Jamie’s Dream Team’s purpose as a public charity is to provide assistance and/or make distributions to or on behalf of qualifying individuals who are handicapped, disabled, terminally ill, severely injured or suffering from a serious medical condition, disease or trauma. I was born with a rare disorder known as V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome. Children born with V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome can have congenital abnormalities of the vertebrae, anus, trachea, esophagus and kidneys. I was born with abnormalities in all of those areas. I have had at least twenty-five (25) surgeries and/or medical procedures since my birth, including surgeries to reconstruct my esophagus, trachea, and anus, and to fuse several vertebrae in my spine. One (1) of my kidneys disintegrated and my remaining kidney does not fully function. I, however, have been fortunate throughout my numerous hospitalizations and surgeries to have had the support and love of my family, friends, doctors and nurses. Throughout my life so far I have received so much from so many, and I have dreamed for several years of being able to help others in need. Despite the pain and suffering that I have, and will continue to endure, my heart has always been with others who are suffering. As such, I started Jamie’s Dream Team to fulfill my dream of helping others who are suffering as I have suffered at times throughout my life.

Jamie’s Dream Team has fulfilled over one hundred (100) “dreams” since its inception in November 2005. These “dreams” have been granted to qualifying children and adults and have included princess parties, carnivals, helicopter rides, airplane rides, golf outings, baseball games, motorized scooters, go-carts, computers, furniture, horse and carriage rides, amusement and water park outings, camping trips, NASCAR racing, concerts, Christmas presents and meet and greets.

I am presently working on fulfilling a “dream” for a boy who has truly touched my heart in every way possible. He is Zachary Mulvey. Zachary is only nine (9) years old and he has already received two (2) heart transplants. He received the first at the age of ten (10) months, and he received the second most recently on June 19, 2010 in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Zachary’s need for the first transplant at the age of ten (10) months was due to dialated cardiomyopathy. He recovered from that transplant very well and was on his way to living a normal life when he was diagnosed with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) approximately two (2) years ago. It is my understanding that PTLD is a form of cancer that transplant patients can get and the treatment for PTLD includes the cessation of the anti-rejection medications. As a result of the PTLD, Zachary could no longer take his anti-rejection medications for his heart transplant. On May 10, 2010, Zachary went into cardiac arrest while he was getting ready for school. CPR was performed on Zachary for anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes. As a last resort, Zachary was placed on an ECMO machine which is similar to a heart-lung machine. The following day Zachary’s Mother, Crystal Mulvey, was told that Zachary was not expected to have any brain function. As Zachary’s family was preparing for the worst, a miracle truly happened. Zachary woke up and was responsive to his medical team! Zachary was then placed on a ventricular assist device (VAD), which is like an artificial heart, while he waited for a new heart. Five (5) weeks later on June 19, 2010, a heart became available for Zachary. Zachary was discharged from Children’s Hospital with his transplanted heart on July 7, 2010. Zachary is doing well but he still cannot take the anti-rejection medications due to the PTLD. As such, Crystal Mulvey has informed me that a day will come when Zachary’s body will likely reject his new heart and she is fearful that Zachary will not be as lucky the next time.

Unlike other little boys his age, Zachary is unable to play sports, ride a bike or travel. As a result, Zachary has occupied his time and entertained himself by playing video games. He is truly a video game aficionado! His favorite video games include the various Legend of Zelda games. The “dream” that I am working on for Zachary includes a makeover for his bedroom. I would like to include as part of the makeover, a painted mural of video game characters on Zachary’s bedroom walls. I am writing to inquire whether you, or any other artists that you know, would be willing to donate your services to paint such a mural for Zachary.

Like me, Zachary has a dream to help others like himself who are suffering from a serious medical condition. The Community Coed Softball League (CCSC) in the Port Vue/Liberty Borough area has been fundraising for Zachary. On August 8, 2010, at the conclusion of its season, CCSC will be presenting a check to Zachary for the proceeds from its fundraising. Zachary, however, intends to, in turn, donate those proceeds to Jamie’s Dream Team to be used to help those who are sick like him. Zachary is truly an amazing and inspirational child! Please contact me to let me know if you, or anyone you know, can assist Jamie’s Dream Team in fulfilling this “dream” for Zachary Mulvey. I can be reached by email at jamieholmes05@comcast.net and by cell phone at (412) 302-1500. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, Jamie Holmes

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fe Gallery "Leaving My Mark" Opens Friday August 27th, 7 to 9

Fe Gallery presents:


The Seven Year Itch

"Leaving My Mark is an exhibition, where each artist has worked directly on the wall. During the closing reception, Fe will encourage people to paint on the walls, covering the artwork and "leaving the marks/artwork" in the space forever.

After seven years of curating exhibitions at Fe, Jill Larson is stepping aside to welcome guest curators. This will be the last exhibition by curator, Jill Larson as Fe launches their guest curatorial programming."

Participating Artists:
Steven Boksenbaum
Lorin Boksenbaum
Marc Burgess
Seth Clark
Lex Covato
Doug Kinsey
Deanna Mance
Meghan Olson
Suzie Sparks
Thomas M. Weprich

Note: Jill Larson's next curatorial venture is "Eat Me" opening in mid-September at Modern Formations.CORRECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!location is Future Tenant. Eat Me is at Future Tenant in the Cultural District- opening 9/17 with the fashion show of edible designs on 9/30

Friday, August 20, 2010

At Least One Thing Pittsburgh Can Learn from Portland, Oregon

I recently reconnected online with my old pal DJ Anjali. She’s a DJ in Portland, Oregon where she spins danceclub music heavy on South Asian beats and vocals, throws dance parties all over town, and hosts a Bollywood Bike In. She and her partner, The Incredible Kid, were the first ones to introduce the beats of “bhangra & Bollywood” to the dance floors of Portland.

The website for the India Cultural Association of Portland states, "Portland and neighboring suburbs currently boasts a thriving community of nearly 10,000 Indians, primarily in high-tech, engineering, medical, teaching, research and healthcare professions." It’s a very similar story in Pittsburgh. According to a Trib-Review article earlier this year, "about 14,000 [Indian-Americans] live in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area...predominantly white-collar professionals, doctors or workers in the high-tech sector." It was harder to find statistics on the per-capita DJ ratios, but I know that each city has a thriving underground dance scene.

So, why doesn’t Pittsburgh have a Bollywood party or bhangra-beat dance nights at clubs and dance halls? When is DJ Anjali going to fly in and show us how it’s done? I propose importing her to kick off a Bollywood movie and dance night, sponsored by Dollar Bank, co-hosted by Pittsburgh Filmmakers and CMU, held at Filmmakers’ Melwood theaters in (heavily Indian) North Oakland. The dancing could start at Filmmakers and maybe the late-night after-party could move on to Brillobox. Any counter proposals?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New kid on the block

A very unique shop has opened in Polish Hill. Urban Gypsy offers a variety of art and artifacts, all with unique character. Te small shop offers art by some of my old favorites, like JR Holtz --

I thought that the selection of Brian James Gonnella's panda's were very sweet, too --

The shop has some lovely handcrafted and vintage wearable ornaments, too. The display itself, along with the rest of the shop, is very appealing.

Stop in and say hello.

Urban Gypsy
3101 Brereton St.
Pittsburgh PA 15219

Monday, August 09, 2010

A meditation on drawings made by David Grim

A meditation on drawings made by David Grim. His show recently closed at Panza Gallery.

Ink drawings of people, maps of human bodies, made on phone book pages.

Image of the person, the picture made by looking at them, drawing in lines over lines of information about people, lists of numbers that allow us to reach out and make contact with a person.

White pages, lists of people, people with numbers next to their names. Index of human beings reduced to ten digits by which they can be reached. Connectivity.

A portrait of a person drawn over a list of people. An individual as a collection of people.

Knowing a person by seeing them. Knowing a person by reading information about them. Knowing a person through the metadata attached to that person. Phone number as tag.

Knowing some one on sight. Knowing some thing about some one. A piece of information is intimacy. Nudity is intimacy. Hearing a voice on the telephone is intimacy.

Drawings are seen. The numbers are seen. The numbers imply voices. Figures on a ground of numbers. The numbers imply connectivity. The numbers imply communication.

Art as the mediating object between bodies, carrying information in a container more dense than words.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Joren Dykstra @ Box Heart

From Box Heart's site:
"Joren Dykstra's current work centers around two series of paintings: "Grid" paintings, in which the picture plane is divided into multiple squares, and "Synthetic Collage" paintings, which are random in their overall composition."

The works Mr. Dykstra is presenting are very energetic, destroying the static designation of "grid". The line and color fairly explode from the canvases. The grid makes cursory appearances in these works, disappearing and re-surfacing in broken lines. The motifs that Mr. Dykstra uses are consistent in size, lending themselves to a kind of calligraphy that begs to be read.

Mr. Dykstra's recent works are available for viewing at Box Heart Gallery through August 14. Kudos to the gallery for putting up a strong solo in a month usually dedicated to group exhibits.

Recent Work: Paintings by Joren Dykstra
July 20 - August 14, 2010
Box Heart Gallery
4523 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
P. 412 687 8858, boxheartexpress@earthlink.net
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10 AM - 6 PM, Sunday: 1 PM - 5 PM