2009 was a very busy year for me!
I had my work exhibited in two galleries. The first exhibit was held at the Arts Unbound gallery, from July to September. During that time, I also participated in a filming of an episode of the show Soul Survivors. The show is about people that have had traumatic, life changing experiences and how they have overcome them. The show is produced by Ebru TV. Ebru TV is currently available through the cable provider RCN (unfortunately this provider is not in New Jersey), online on the Ebru TV official website and via satellite (not Direct TV, an actual satellite dish that uses specific coordinates). Apparently, EbruTV producers discovered my story through my involvement with the Association for Mouth and Foot Painting Artists and contacted me through them.The episode is about my accident and the impact it's had on my life; as well as how I use art to cope with my situation and help others by raising awareness. We filmed the episode on two separate occasions, which included a sit down interview and painting demonstration at my apartment and at the reception for the Arts Unbound exhibit. The episode has already aired on cable (RCN), and is now available to download and watch online. I'm waiting for permission to include the video on my site as well. Despite my ability to find a million flaws in myself; I'm very pleased at the final result. I'm hoping to share it with as many people as I possibly can! I think they did a wonderful job in putting my story together (there are just two mistakes on the captions, which include: the date of my accident and the fact that I was familiar with pool). I'm hoping to use the video as a teaching tool, in my efforts to raise awareness.
This past September to October I had a solo exhibit at Kean University (my alma mater). The exhibit featured about 15 of my paintings and was held in the student gallery. The exhibit was a big hit! I was so pleased at the turn out for the opening reception and am continually greatful to my friends (mostly ex-professors of mine) in the Kean community for their support. I got to know a lot of faculty and staff when I was an undergraduate student and have remained in touch with many of them. As an added bonus, all incoming freshman received flyers about the show and information about spinal cord injuries. I worked as a freshman advisor for three years during my years at Kean and was thrilled at the opportunity to reach out to so many people, especially college freshman who are in the most common age bracket for spinal cord injuries. News 12 (NJ cable news station) also filmed the exhibit. I'm working with John Bathke, who is a reporter for News 12 and host of his own show, called On the Scene. The show focuses on local artists, actors and musicians. I was filmed at the gallery and here in my home, similarly to Soul Survivors. I'm still working on the painting for that show and look forward to seeing it once it's all put together. I will of course, let everyone know when it is due to air and I'm waiting to hear if it can be included on my website.
As for 2010, I will be participating in another Ebru TV show called Blank Canvas and continuing to paint. I'm hoping to exhibit more in the future and work on maintaining and improving my website. In the end, all my efforts are to help raise awareness and support for a cure to paralysis. I'm praying 2010 will bring about exciting breakthroughs and new treatments, ideally a cure.