Archive for June 7th, 2016

GC Myers- Enraptured sm aWe were notified just a short time ago by the folks at Crowdrise that they had chosen the winner of the painting, Enraptured, that was the prize in the inaugural fundraising event for Artists Engaging Nepal which benefits the Soarway Foundation and its partnership with charitable groups in Nepal.  The winner was randomly chosen by their computer from a group of people who were entered into the drawing as a result of their donations to the Soarway Foundation.

And the winner is…

Paul and Wanda Kingsbury

Paul and Wanda are from my hometown of Elmira, NY, though Wanda originally hails from the state of Maine.  Paul has run Kingbury’s Cyclery in Elmira for what seems like forever.  It seems like there is some good karma involved here for Paul.  I asked him to share this contest with his followers on Facebook and in doing so he shared a bit of his experiences in Nepal, a trip he describes as life-changing.

Here’s what Paul wrote:

I went trekking in Nepal about ten years ago. I wanted to see the other side of the world. I expected to see big, snow capped mountains, to see fuzzy yaks, maybe even see a snow leopard. What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with the people of Nepal. They are without a doubt the nicest, friendliest, most peaceful people I’ve ever met. I could share story after story for hours and hours about kindnesses that came my way, but I’ll save that for another day. What I will tell you is that now they need our help after a devastating earthquake rocked their tiny country.
Here’s an easy way to help, and you might become owner of a beautiful GCMyers painting. Click, read, send a few bucks to help the Nepali people. A few bucks for us, living large in the US of A is nothing, but to the sweet people of Nepal it can go a long, long way. Click, help, and be a winner

Ok, a little story,
one of our guides, Singa, walked three days on a mountain trail to catch a bus, which he rode for 24 hrs to meet up with our group in Kathmandu. During our two week trek he told me he was guiding our group to earn money to buy a bunch of sheets of corrugated steel, to take back on the bus, then carry on his back .. carry on his back corrugated steel, for three days along the mountain trail back to his village, just so he could put a roof on the little home he built for his wife and new baby. Can you imagine ? .. and now an earthquake. Wow !

Help ’em out -)

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has reached out during this event.  I cannot express the gratitude I feel for those of you who made the effort to help those in need so far from here.  I wish I had a painting for each of you.

Please keep an eye out for the Soarway Foundation’s upcoming Artists Engaging Nepal which will feature some gallery events as well as online auctions of beautiful art from many artists including those from Nepal and Uganda.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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Charles C Mulford Grave Alexandria VA National CemeteryI’ve been going to Alexandria, VA, a lovely and historic town that hugs the Potomac River just a few miles below Washington DC, for a long time, often several times a year.  Outside of my link with the Principle Gallery and the relationships that have grown from that, I never thought I had a connection of any sort with that area.

Col. Eleazer Lindsley

Col.Eleazer Lindsley

But, as many of you who read this blog on a regular basis already know, I am an avid genealogist.  I have documented some of my ancestral discoveries in a series of paintings, Icons, like the one shown here on the right, that I hope to get back to soon.  While going through one of my lines earlier this year I came across a great-grand uncle by the name of Charles C. Mulford, who was the great grandson of Colonel Eleazer Lindsley who is shown in the Icon painting on the right.

Mulford was born in nearby Lindley in 1821 and lived a quiet life as a farmer until the Civil War broke out.  Serving for the 6th Regiment of the NY Heavy Artillery, he saw combat in battles at Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, the Wilderness, Totopotomy and Petersburg.  At the Battle of Petersburg, Mulford was shot in the upper  thigh and, during his hospitalization, contracted typhus and died in early July of 1864.

It was the same tragic ending that many of my ancestors met while serving this country.  But the interesting detail in the account was that he had died in Alexandria at the Fairfax Seminary hospital and was buried in the National Cemetery not too far from the gallery.

So Friday morning when I went out for coffee at a local cafe that I frequent when I am  in town I decided to seek out my great-grand uncle.  Under threatening skies, I strolled the few blocks to the cemetery that is tucked quietly among neighborhoods filled with townhouses.  It only took a few moments to find the grave, sitting in the first row facing a  stone wall.

The marble headstone was well weathered as you can see at the top of the page.  I stood there for quite a while.  I wondered if any others had looked closely at that stone in recent years, had uttered the name over that grave.

It’s a small thing but just standing in front of that stone for  a few minutes was very calming for me, especially on the day of an opening when I am normally very anxious.  Just knowing that he and I shared a tiny bit of DNA and a common beginning had meaning for me, connecting to me to my family, our history as a nation and to Alexandria, as well.  I felt like I belonged in so many ways.

And there was great peace in that moment.

So, besides the many paintings that I know populate the homes of Alexandria and the friends that I have made there, a small part of my past will always reside in that city.  I finally feel truly connected there.

Some extra info:  Charles Mulford was the first cousin of  General John E. Mulford (my first cousin 6 generations removed) who was President Lincoln‘s  Commissioner of Exchange which meant that he arranged for the exchange of prisoners during the war.  He is shown below in uniform in a photo from Matthew Brady.Gen John E. Mulford Matthew Brady Photo Richmond VA

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