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Posts Tagged ‘Nepal’

GC Myers- To the Watchtower smI’m a little tired, mainly of talking about my work and myself, and want to keep this short today.  I thought I’d show another painting from the show at the Principle Gallery and couple it with the song that spawned it.  The painting above is titled To the Watchtower  which I derived from the old Bob Dylan song All Along the Watchtower.

I thought it might serve as a good metaphor for what will be my final plea for your help in our efforts to raise funds for the Soarway Foundation, a campaign that ends today.  By donating, you can possibly win a painting of mine but the more important thing is that you are reaching out to those in need, people who don’t expect your help, don’t feel entitled to it but desperately need it.

Like the Red Tree in the painting, we often place ourselves on islands, seemingly insulated from the rest of the world and hopefully immune to the ills and woes of it.  I openly acknowledge that I am prone to this.  But we are not islands.  We are connected to the world.  It’s knowing that we are part of a greater whole that is the basis for the empathy that keeps this world together.  So, even while we try to stay put on our island we must man that watchtower and stay vigilant to the suffering of others.

Reach out.  Help someone.  Maybe you don’t give a tinker’s damn about people on the other side of the globe.  So be it.  Then help someone in your neighborhood. Your town. Your country.

Just help someone…

But I am asking for your help today by going to the link at the bottom.  If you can or if you already have, I thank you mightily.  If not, like I say, help someone else.

Reach out.

Thanks.  Here’s the classic Jimi Hendrix version of Dylan’s song.

 

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 GC Myers- Part of the Pattern Paintings 2016GIFPart of the Pattern , which opens tomorrow, June 3, is my 17th solo show at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA.  It’s been a great run since that first show back in 2000 that introduced the Red Tree into my body of work.  I’m not even sure that I had a body of work at that point.

But through the years this annual show has given me the desire as well as a platform to continuously move my work forward.  It has often reflected my own small steps forward as I sought to find answers in my own life.  This desire  to discover how I fit into this world has been a driving force in my life and the work I have produced over the last 17 years, producing small incremental steps forward  in both.

I don’t know that I will ever reach a point where I will be totally satisfied on either front.

But through this time I have come to believe that the world we know is but a small part of the larger whole, that there are forces and energies that swirl around us without our knowledge of them.  They move in seemingly chaotic ways that occasionally reveal a glimpse of their underlying patterns to us who are fortunate to be looking at that moment.

What it is, what it means, how we fit in—I don’t have any answers.  But just catching that glimpse convinces me that there is a place for us, for me, in that pattern.  Every being, every life, including my own small and seemingly inconsequential life, is included in that pattern and somehow fills a need  by playing its role.

I think a lot of the work from this show reflects this belief that the forces and powers that seem far removed from us are actually within reach.  They affect us and we affect them.

You know, this is a really hard thing to express in words without sounding like I’m dancing on the outer fringes.  Maybe that’s why I work in color, lines and shapes.  I hope you’ll stop in at the Principle Gallery and take a look at this show.

Maybe you will see what I mean.

Part of the Pattern is now on view at the Principle Gallery at 208 King Street in Alexandria, VA.  The show opens Friday, June 3, with an opening reception that runs from 6:30 to 9:00 PM.  Hope to see you there.

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ONLY A FEW DAYS REMAIN TO REACH OUT TO NEPAL

AND

GET A CHANCE TO WIN THIS PAINTING!

Enraptured” is a 30″ by 40″ Painting valued at $5000

Event ends Monday June 6 at 12 Noon ET

For more information go to:  ARTISTS ENGAGING NEPAL

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Soarway Poster -Engage NepalI don’t want to take much of your time on this holiday but I do want to remind you that there is one week left  to donate (and, yes, possibly win!) to the Soarway Foundation and their efforts to assist Nepal in recovering from last year’s big earthquake.

Part of this also aids in helping Nepal  build up its preparedness for future earthquakes, which was the Soarway Foundation’s original mission.  You see, this organization was founded by Michael Kobold  ( watchmaker, filmmaker, author and explorer -check out his extraordinary life here) only weeks before the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit last April.  Nepal sits on two shifting tectonic plates and has been in the cross-hairs for a huge earthquake for many years.  And undoubtedly many more.

Scott DeLisi, from his years as the US Ambassador to Nepal, knew that the country was in extreme danger from such an event and did not have the resources to react  in time of need.  He signed on as the head of Soarway with the hope of reinforcing its weak disaster response infrastructure.  This is a country that only had 24 firetrucks to cover a huge area of extremely rugged land.

The Kathmandu Valley only had one firetruck serving it.  One of the first projects of the Soarway Foundation was an expedition delivering several firetrucks to Nepal.

That isn’t as easy as it sounds.  The trucks must be driven through high and rough Himalayan roads in order to find their home in Nepal.  It’s this same remote ruggedness that make any rescue and recovery there such a hard business.

But the mission for preparedness became one of recovery as the earthquake hit in late April of 2015.  The Soarway Foundation realized there was so much devastation that no one group could rebuild the hundreds of thousands of homes or the thousands of schools destroyed.  They understood that the most effective manner of bringing aid was in partnering with local groups who knew the terrain and the immediate needs of the local people.  This has led them to their partnerships with groups that battle human trafficking, that try to find family homes for the huge number of orphans and that try to rebuild permanent housing for the tens of thousands still living in tents.

You could win this painting valued at $5000!

You could win this painting valued at $5000!

There’s a huge need in Nepal and this is but a small step in helping that country.  I don’t have the resources to help in a very large way but I thought that maybe we could raise some much needed money through an event where many small donations could grow into something more.  So, using the only asset at my disposal, my work, I put up a larger painting so that those donating could possibly win by donating.  Plus, they get a signed poster and their donation is tax deductible.

Have a good Memorial Day and please consider reaching out and giving a hand to those who really need it.

 

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GC Myers- Into the PatternThis painting, Into the Pattern, is featured prominently in my upcoming show at the Principle Gallery (opening June 3)and was featured in an earlier blog entry a few months back.  I thought I’d take a few moments this morning to revisit this painting as it is also featured on a poster for the Soarway Foundation.

As you probably know from recent posts, I am currently partnered with this organization in a fundraising effort to aid them in their mission to help the people of Nepal in the aftermath of last year’s earthquakes which devastated this peaceful and isolated nation.  The foundation was started and headed by retired US Ambassador to Nepal Scott DeLisi who saw that there was a real need for quick and specific assistance for the local organizations in Nepal who were on the front lines in battling the poverty, loss of facilities and homes and the rise of human trafficking that took place in the huge void created after the earthquake.  Feeding off the affection for the people of Nepal he gained while living there, Scott and wife, Leija, have turned what should have been a  comfortable retirement into a seemingly all consuming, full-time effort to complete their mission to bring aid to Nepal.

It’s a daunting task, especially in a world that seems to unleash a new tragedy every other day.  But I would like to think we are a people of compassion and that we see that we are connected with the struggles of people a world away in the shadow of the Himalayas. It’s this connection, this unity with all the world, that I feel is a central theme in my work, especially in this upcoming show.  We are all part of a larger pattern and when one part of the pattern is damaged, the whole of it suffers.

Prayer flags fly over the village of Khunde.

Prayer flags fly over the village of Khunde.

I see this connection to a larger pattern in this particular painting.  It was chosen for the poster for this reason and also because the pattern and colors of the spiral forms in the sky remind me of the Buddhist prayer flags that are often seen flying over Nepal.  The flags come in five colors–blue, white, red, green and yellow– symbolizing the five elements of sky, wind, water, fire and earth.  When flown they become symbolic prayers that with the help of the wind spread peace, compassion, strength and wisdom over the surrounding landscape.

I think we could all use a few more prayer flags.

So, I ask with all seriousness that you consider making a small donation to this Soarway Foundation effort-  part of the pattern is damaged and needs to be repaired.  You might think your small effort doesn’t matter but you’re wrong– it takes many to help many.

You can help and I am sincerely and outright asking for your assistance in this effort.

And who knows? You might win the painting being offered.  I’m looking at it at this very moment here in the studio– it’s a large and dramatic piece that speaks to the same themes as Into the Pattern.  Plus you get the poster below.

So, please click here to visit the event page.

Soarway Poster -Engage Nepal

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Soarway Poster -Engage NepalIt’s been a year since massive earthquakes rocked the country of Nepal in April and May of 2015.  It brought extreme devastation to this peaceful and isolated nation high in the Himalayan Mountains, destroying huge numbers of homes, much of the infrastructure and leaving thousands of its citizens struggling to get by as the mountain tourism that sustained it ground to a halt.  The country’s isolated and rugged mountain location made all support efforts even more difficult than your typical disaster response.  It also made Nepal’s suffering easy to forget– out of sight, out of mind.

In the past year, very little has been done to restore Nepal and it’s misery continues.  Many of its citizens continue to live in tents, the same ones that sheltered them from the last harsh Himalayan winter.  Kids were especially hit hard.  There is a huge number of orphaned children who are at risk of being placed institutionally– which is not a pretty sight in the context of a poor nation such as Nepal.  Many. many schools were destroyed and have yet to be rebuilt or replaced, leaving these same children without a continuing education.

Human trafficking has reared its ugly head here as well.  Many young women in devastated areas are lured with the promise of high wages for domestic work outside the country.  Once there, they find themselves held captive, often as sexual slaves.  But many feel they have no other option as the tourism supported by expeditions to the mountains have been very, very slow in coming back leaving many in Nepal without incomes and in dire poverty.  It’s a terrible scenario to even consider.

I have become involved with the Soarway Foundation which was formed this past year by former US Ambassador to Nepal Scott DeLisi and his wife, Leija. Their goal is to raise awareness and funds that will get quickly into the hands of people and organizations that can have an immediate impact.

They are partnering with a number of local groups, one that is aiming to provide over a thousand transitional homes before this next winter as well as rebuild schools in the hardest hit areas.  They are working with Maiti Nepal, an organization founded and led by Anuradha Koirala, the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year, that actively fights against human trafficking in Nepal.  They are working with groups that aim to place orphaned children with extended families instead of the underwhelming institutional orphanages of Nepal.

This has become a labor of love for Scott and Leija.  It would have been easy for them to shift into an easy retirement after Scott’s lifetime of service with the foreign service, most recently as our ambassador to Nepal then Uganda.  But their empathy and concern for the people of Nepal who they came to love during their time there has made this a more than full-time effort for them as they try to help in any way possible.  They are going non-stop in trying to raise funds and schedule events to raise awareness of the need for help in Nepal and engage others in the battle.

They have an upcoming fundraiser in NYC  with Anuradha Koirala to raise funds for Maiti Nepal and have started organizing Wounded Heroes Treks which consists of wounded military vets visiting and climbing the Himalayan Mountains in an effort to kickstart the lagging economy. They also have organized artists from both Nepal and Uganda and here in the USA in an effort consisting of online auctions, gallery galas and the thing I am here today to put forward.

I am partnering with them on an effort called Engage Nepal.   It is a fundraising effort that will hopefully provide sufficient funds to make a difference in Nepal’s recovery.  I am asking you to visit their page at the fundraising site Crowdrise and donate today.  But for your efforts, we wish to reward you in some small way.  For every donation of $25 and above, you will receive a signed poster like the one shown at the top of this blog.  The painting used was chosen because the whorls in the sky remind me of the Buddhist prayer flags one might see throughout Nepal.

And there’s more: A donation enters you in a drawing to win the painting shown below, Enraptured.  It is a large painting, 30″ by 40″ on canvas whose intertwined trees represent for me the strength of combined efforts in weathering the storms of this world.  It is valued at $5000.  For a $25 donation you get one entry into the drawing + a poster, for $50 you get two entries+ a poster and for $100 you get five (5)  entries + a poster.

This effort was scheduled to kick off tomorrow but it has opened this morning so you can be one of the very first to check it out  now by clicking here.  This event with the drawing and poster is scheduled to end in approximately two weeks so please take a moment to look and act.  Give if you can and if not, please share this with your friends.  We are seeking to raise as much awareness as possible.  Thank you for taking the time to read this.

GC Myers-Enraptured - Engage Nepal

 

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Nepalese man Trapped in Rubble Photo by Narandra ShrestaIt’s been heartbreaking to see the tragedy taking place in Nepal as a result of a massive 7.8 earthquake and subsequent huge aftershocks that rocked this Himalayan nation over the weekend. I’ve never been to Nepal and there is a good chance that I may never see it but I feel a small connection to this distant nation through my work, which hung in the American Embassy in Kathmandu for several years.  Plus, I have met a number of folks who have been there and they always speak of their experiences there in glowing terms.

It’s hard to even imagine the destruction caused when a chunk of the planet about 35 miles wide and 75 miles long is suddenly shifted 10 feet.  But the images coming from Kathmandu fill in the blanks– tremendous physical damage, horrible injuries and mounting loss of lives– over 3700 as of this morning and sure to keep rising.  Rescue efforts continue but it is a hard slog given the lack of resources and the remoteness and relative inaccessibility of Nepal.

Maju Deval Temple, Kathmandu- Before and After  Earthquake

Maju Deval Temple, Kathmandu- Before and After Earthquake

There were also cultural tragedies, including the total destruction of the Maju Deval Temple in Kathmandu.  It was built in 1690 and had survived beautifully through the previous 325 years until the quake reduced it to a pile of rubble as seen in the photo above. On Mt. Everest, there is still no true accounting of the total number of climbers and guides lost when the quake caused massive avalanches in the high peaks.

It can be frustrating, watching a tragedy such as this from such a long distance.  We want to help but there seems to be so little that we can do from half a world away.  But there are reputable charities that are geared up just to help in situations such as these, having resources ready to go in a very short time and their people on the ground in the devastated areas within hours.

And they need your help in order to help others.

There is a local Nepalese charity called the Soarway Foundation, that was created in part by the honorable Scott DeLisi, our former ambassador to Nepal and a man who I have had the honor of corresponding with over the past several years. They have an infrastructure in place in that nation and any money donated will have an immediate impact on the earthquake’s victims.

Two other of my personal favorites are Oxfam and Americares, both of which take very little from your donations for things like administration and fundraising.  Both are very quick to action also.. And of course, there is the Red Cross, although most donations go into a general fund to help around the world.

So give if you can to this nation that needs a helping hand at this time.

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9GC Myers- Coming to an Understanding

A couple of years ago, back in April of 2010, I wrote here about one of my paintings being selected by the then Ambassador to Nepal,  Scott DeLisi,  for display in his offices at the American Embassy in Kathmandu.  And earlier this year, I wrote again about that painting being part of a intercultural exhibition and gala featuring the art of a number of Nepalese artists and the eight American artists whose work hung at the embassy.  Being chosen by Ambassador DeLisi was a great honor for me, particularly since  there aren’t a lot of chances for an artist to represent their country in any meaningful way.  I almost felt like an Olympian, even if only in a very small way.

Ambassador DeLisi   however had his assignment altered and left that position earlier this year, which meant that the painting in Kathmandu was returned to the gallery.  My Olympic dream seemed to be at an end.

However, Mr. DeLisi was nominated by President Obama to be Ambassador to the African nation of Uganda and was confirmed by the Congress in May.  Yesterday, I was notified by the Principle Gallery that the Ambassador had requested three of my paintings for display at the Embassy in Kampala.

I feel Olympian once again!  I was especially thrilled that it was going to Uganda after having watched the young Ugandan boys who came to Williamsport, PA  in the past few weeks as the first African team to play in the Little League World Series.  It was a great story as the other teams and the crowds there seemed to truly embrace these kids.  Remarkably, they won a game even though most of the kids had only been playing  baseball  (or even known about baseball, for that matter) for about six months.

But I was mostly thrilled at the prospect of my work once again being representative of our country and honored that  Ambassador DeLisi had once again found something in it that enabled his decision.  I hope these paintings serves him well in Uganda.

The pieces chosen are shown above and below.

GC Myers- Pot Luck

GC Myers- Sovereign Solitude

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