Sunday, May 22, 2016

Art For Life 2016 : Pizzuti Collection : UPDATE

Viridian Morning. Oil on Canvas. 40x60 inches. 2016.
Art For Life Fundraiser 2016. Sponsored by Pizzuti Collection.
Columbus, Ohio.

September 24, 2016. Columbus Museum of Art. Art for Life Auction.
My Painting Viridian Morning was purchased by Dr. William Mains and Brian Smith.
$640,000.00 was the total amount raised.

Pizzuti Collection asked me to participate in the Columbus, Ohio based Art for Life  2016  fundraiser/auction.  
  Art For Life raises funds for AIDS Research and services. Pizzuti Collection is a powerful arts organization located in Columbus, Ohio that supports regional and international artists.

This year's auction will take place at the Columbus Museum of Art on September 24th, 2016.
Art For Life Fundraiser is considered to be the most prestigious cultural event in Columbus and I am very pleased to be involved.
VIP ticket price $350.00. Purchase HERE
Great article from Sotheby's about Pizzuti Collection HERE

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

New Young's Town: Part 3: Corridors of Illusions

 Connecting New Young's Town to the suburban areas are streets,  artifacts, left from the Dead City of Youngstown. They are used as secondary or tertiary routes.  Market Street for example, is perhaps the longest, being many miles in length and traversing the Wildlands. Currently, the majority of the buildings along it are being claimed by nature or the voracious demolition companies. Travel merely one block to either side of market for anywhere on its entire length and there is nothing but fields and woodlots with the occasional fragment of a neighborhood.
 At the point where these corridors meet the suburban areas one will find neighborhoods from the Dead City still intact, almost like illusions. The houses are neat and tidy, the streets are clean and maintained, there is police protection and all seems right with the world. There is a sense that the American Dream is still alive, right here where we are standing. We feel the pressures and threats around us, but we know we can withstand them. After emerging from the Wildlands, this area is a relief. This is the mood of the neighborhood. We see this environment particularly where Market Street meets Boardman boarder.
 Should a person only visit these neighborhoods, they would have   the impression that the dead city of Youngstown is still alive and well. The fact of the matter is that these border communities are totally dependent for their survival on the suburban economies, and without the regular infusion of resources, they would collapse and be taken by Ruralization.

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Otter Slaughter : The Park Animals as Community Treasure

Mill Creek Otter several months  before it was trapped

Mill Creek Park Otter caught in Conibear trap

A few weeks ago the Mill Creek Otter was caught in a Conibear killing trap in the Lake Newport Wildlife Sanctuary. The perpetrator, Daniel Volpe, had permission from the park managers to trap 'nuisance beaver' and muskrat. However he engaged in   illegal trapping  activities, including setting several Conibear traps on land, which led to the horrific maiming and assured death of the otter. Volpe was cited, appeared in Canfield Court, and was fined $240.00.
Conibear traps  for beaver are incredibly powerful and are designed to crush the animal's skull, neck, spine and rib cage. They can break a grown man's arm and smaller sizes can break fingers. In a sense, these traps are humane, because, if set properly the animal is assured a quick death. Proper setting involves submerging the trap in water so that the animal drowns as well.
 The Oldster managers of Mill Creek Park have outdated, dangerous views on the animals that inhabit the park. They use labels like Nuisance Animals, Diseased Animals, Invasive Species and Overpopulation to instill fear in the public and create an atmosphere of conflict between the animals and people. The park managers then engage in wholesale slaughter of large numbers of these creatures based on fear, faulty reasoning and outdated, game management practices. Additionally many 'non-target' non nuisance are most likely trapped as they inhabit the same environs a the muskrat and beaver. The Otter is the obvious example, as are other creatures such as herons, mergansers and mink which hunt for fish in beaver and muskrat burrows.
With advent of the internet, Social Media and digital photography, the animals of our Park are now international celebrities. The photos above have been seen by hundreds of thousands of people locally and worldwide. Thousand of people travel yearly to the park, specifically to enjoy and photograph the animals of the Park. These creatures are accepting of humans and daylight. They feel safe, and people can get close to them for clear photographs and general enjoyment. Bald Eagles, Large Whitetail Bucks, Otters, Mink, Foxes, Coyotes, Wild Turkeys, Owls,  Herons, Raccoons are regularly seen at close range in the park.
The animals have become ambassadors for our community,  particularly the community of New Young's Town. International business people, when seeing the Bald Eagles, are instilled with a sense of confidence about our community. Families wishing to move here view the animals as valuable educational tools for their children.
 These animals are our friends who make us money and create a good reputation for our community. They are Community Treasures and should be treated as such.

* For the record, I spend time nearly every day in Mill Creek Park,  I grew up on farms, spent much time hunting and trapping, and majored in Environmental Sciences at Ohio State University for 2 years.

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