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Hello friends & supporters,
I have a few updates to share, but first, I know your heart has been heavy, too, these days as we bear witness to the tragedy of yet another genocide, this time in real time as the world is witness. I’ve been supporting Palestinian liberation for nearly 2 decades, but the horror of what I have seen these past 2 months has been beyond. I know as someone who hasn’t been able to engage in my usual forms of protest (feet in the street), it’s been hard to figure out where to put my energy. I’d like to offer you some ideas, feel free to share yours with me.
It’s also 2023, and I also wish for us that Covid-19 was as extinct as our government acts like it is. Unfortunately, it’s still thriving and mutating. As you likely know, I have Long Covid (read all about it in my last newsletter). I didn’t get Covid at the outset - I had just over 2 years (and 3 vaccines) before I caught it. But it changed my life completely. Not overnight, but gradually, over 6 months, I got sicker, more tired, and able to do less and less.
It is from this tragedy/transformation that I have created my newest works, one of which you can see in person at the Minnesota Museum of American Art from December 7, 2023 - February 28, 2024 in downtown St. Paul. Working at a near glacial pace at times, I have been creating artworks from my bed and couch, painting portals of hope and healing onto all of my Rx and supplement bottles (110 at last count!). I hope that you will get a chance to see the work if you are in the Twin Cities - it’s a show that has been carefully curated by emerging curator Drew Maude-Griffen, and features 4 other disabled artists from the region, sharing our “adaptations, brilliance, and joy.”
Relatedly, due to the Long Covid, I have been unable to work as a teaching artist (my main income for the past decade and a half) for much of this year or I’ve had to work in an extremely limited and/or modified manner. I’m not sure when or whether I’ll ever be able to return to that kind of work, hauling bins of art supplies around the state, facilitating creative experiences for 30, 60, sometimes 100! kids, teens, and/or adults at a time! It was joyous, inspiring, meaningful work, and I do miss it.
But bills still need to be paid, especially my rent (both at my studio and my apartment). The combined rent alone is $1,750 (and 75% of that is my Section 42 rent-subsidized (!) apartment). I share this because I believe in financial transparency; I think our society does not talk about money nearly enough! I haven't yet pursued disability (it's a grueling, demoralizing, discouraging, red tape nightmare of the highest order, especially for those with long covid, as it's not an "official" disability, yet) and honestly, I want to work. Especially as an artist. Making art is healing, though I have to do it in pretty modified ways from how I used to. So one idea I have been working on setting up for months is to have a store on my website to sell art more directly. And I’m so excited for you to check it out! There are…
It would mean the world if you supported me in this effort by buying something, sharing about my work on social media or by sending it to a friend. Navigating this ableist world in a newly disabled body shows me over and over that we can’t do this thing called life alone. Community support is everything, and I thank you from the bottom of my big, huge beating heart for any and all support you have shown me over the last year and a half and going forward as I rebuild my life. I couldn’t have done it // can’t do it without so, so many of you.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones.
In love and solidarity,
Click below to see a few of the items for sale on my website!