Uplifting Art

“The aim of art is to represent
not the outward appearance of things,
but their inward significance.”
Aristotle

Uplifing Art.jpg

Unicorn Chick by Eddie Fitch

Thanks to a Boston program that showcases homeless and disabled artists work, these artists work are helping them rebuild their lives. Their art speaks volumes about the artist and their work. Works of art that would normally go unnoticed without the help of a young woman, Liz Powers.

Since she was eighteen, Liz Powers has worked with homeless and disabled individuals in Boston. She began by creating and running art groups in local women’s shelters. While there, Liz was amazed by the talent around her, but noticed that much of the art would end up in the trash can or lost in the shelters’ closets. After observing the same problem at other local art programs, Liz and her brother Spencer created ArtLiftingSince its launch in December 2013,  ArtLifting has also helped five formerly unhoused artists gain housing.

Her goal is create a profitable business not only for her organization, but for each and every artist that participates in the program. By selling these artists work, ArtLifting is providing homeless and disabled artists the opportunity to earn their own income. The organization is run just like an upscale art studio. Each artists earns 55% of the profit from each sale.

Why is this program so successful? Because by earning an income instead of a handout, the artists feel empowered and confident. This confidence has a domino effect on every aspect of their lives and helps them pursue dreams that previously seemed unreachable to them.

Liz’s ultimate goal is to give a homeless or disabled artist his or her first break. Because she believes most of these people have never had a break. While art can inspire each of us, Liz Powers and the artists she helps inspire us as well as their uplifting art.

Shine On

A Real Hero

“We must appreciate and
never underestimate
our own inner power.”
Noah Galloway
Real Hero

Noah Galloway, Dancing with the Stars Season 20 contestant.

A few years before the tragedy of 911, my son had to write a third grade essay about a hero. He asked me, “what makes a hero and who I thought was a hero?”

I told my young son that real heroes are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Heroes can be found in all walks of life. They are people who work jobs that are not only thankless but can also have jobs that jeopardize their own well-being. I told him that my heroes range from the janitor at his school to soldiers and veterans, policemen, firemen, doctors, nurses, teachers, all the unsung workers and the backbone of America.

On Monday evening on Dancing with the Stars I watched through tears, contestant Noah Galloway, a former United States Army soldier, a model and athlete dance his heart out. He dedicated the dance by saying, “This dance represents a journey of acceptance from the man I was to the man I’ve become.”

You see Noah was injured during the Iraq War, losing his left arm above the elbow and left leg above the knee. Before Noah danced his routine he told us his story. How he put his life back together after he was injured in 2005 during “Operation Iraqi Freedom”.

After years of spiraling downward in his life he awoke one day and looking in the mirror he stopped seeing what was missing and began seeing a reflection of what he still had.

Mr. Galloway is a true inspiration to young and old and represents to me, the true meaning of a real hero.

Shine On

Windows of Your Mind

What you really want for yourself is always trying to break through,
just as a cooling breeze flows through an open window on a hot day.
Your part is to open the windows of your mind.”
Vernon Howard

Windows of Your Mind

Canyonlands National Park in the southeastern town of Moah in Utah.

Shine On

Just Around the Bend

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high.
Look the world straight in the eye.”
Helen Keller

Just Around the Bend

Just Around the Bend on Narcissa Drive in Palos Verdes, California.

Life is but a journey with twists and turns just like a winding road. The future is hard to predict, comparable in many ways to the experience of rounding a corner in a new location and seeing unexpected sights. If an event is just around the bend in the sense of time, it generally means that the wait won’t be long.

Sometimes these bends and turns in life take us in a new direction. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the worst. But always in the direction of the unknown. If you’re lucky, these turns in life can make all the difference in one’s life.

Often we are very close to a destination in life, yet we are unable to see it. It’s always good to have a second set of eyes, to help you see the way. A friend will be able to see things much clearer than you. A true friend, will give you words of encouragement such as: “Don’t worry, it’s ‘just around the bend.'”

Shine On

The Great Desmond Morris

“We may prefer to think of ourselves as fallen angels,
but in reality we are rising apes.”
Desmond Morris

The Naked ApeToday I just started reading The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris. As usual, I wanted to know more about Desmond Morris, so I Googled Mr. Morris and found out he is still alive at age 87. Amazingly, he wrote his first book, The Naked Ape in four short weeks in November 1966.

He was born Desmond John Morris on January 24, 1928 in Purton, Wilshire, England. His father, Harry Morris was a children’s fiction author. When Desmond was 14, his father was killed while serving in the armed forces. Ever since then, as noted from a 2008 interview, “It was the beginning of a life-long hatred of the establishment. The church, the government and the military were all on my hate list and have remained there ever since.”  He said in another interview, that “my reasoning behind drifting towards the surrealist subculture is rather profound. In a time living as a child in the Second World War and then losing my father to the repercussions of that violence, an inner urge for rebellion against authority struck me.”

Desmond grew up around all species of animals. In his twenties he developed a passion in both natural history and writing and his interest continued throughout his adult life. He was not only a zoologist, ethologist and a writer but he was also an established artist. He had major art exhibits throughout the world up until 1999.

As a result of his research study into the drawing abilities of apes, in 1957 he organized a chimpanzee paintings and drawings exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. In the spring of 1967 he resigned from his post of Curator held at London Zoo, and became executive director of the London Institute of Contemporary Arts for only a year, until 1968 with the release of The Naked Ape, sending Morris on an absence from the arts world of over twenty years, while his sociobiology career took the front seat.

In the 1950s up until the 1990s Desmond Morris wrote and directed television shows and movies. He’s still writing and publishing books and has published 84 books. Recently, in 2014 he published two books. One called Leopard and the second called Headworks, which is a volume of his collected poems from 1945 to 2014.

Desmond Morris’ art and writing continues to push the limits of mans curiosity about himself and other species on this planet. In his 2013 book The Artistic Ape; Three Million Years of Art, he sets out to answer why it is that the human species has been so intensely creative for thousands of years. This is another Desmond Morris book I plan to add to my 2015 reading list.

Here’s a recent comment from an interview with Desmond Morris about his book The Artistic Ape; Three Million Years of Art:

“Art is something that all humans feel compelled to pursue in one form or another. A culture without art is a dying culture. But art is everywhere and we have had too narrow a definition of it in the past. When I was writing a book about football, many years ago, I noticed that even the scruffiest of football hooligans would talk excitedly about “a beautiful goal”. They didn’t say ‘an efficient goal’, they were judging the goal aesthetically – although they would have laughed at me if I had told them they were making an aesthetic judgement – but that is precisely what they were doing. Every time a man buys a necktie he makes an aesthetic judgement. Every time he chooses a new car, he does the same. Our whole world is governed by aesthetic judgements, only we don’t see it that way – we say art is in a gallery or a museum, but the truth is that it influences us in many ways every day of our lives.”

To learn more about Desmond Morris and find information about his recent books, go to his website at:

The Great Desmond Morris.

Shine On