In January of 2008 I lost my father and in Sept 2009 an artist Keith and I championed, Donald Henry, passed away suddenly. The recent passing of Brian Joiner shook me more than I thought it would. I thought knowing this was likely based on his condition would have lessened the effect.
I ran across a piece I wrote about “Vision and Mission” which I shared with all the staff at Visionaries & Voices on 10-22-08. In it, I tried to address how the death of my Mother and loss of Raymond Thunder-Sky shaped the urgency of what we (Keith and I) were trying to accomplish.
Here is a little bit of it:
I consider art as a great equalizer. When artists collaborate, it is one of the best ways I know of to step outside yourself and become a part of a larger conversation and a larger art world. The “Guernica Project” Antonio Adams and Brian Joiner are currently finishing up is a great example of what I am trying to say. Using one of Picasso’s most famous works as a spring board into a new work, Antonio and Brian are creating a work neither of them would be able to accomplish on their own.
As a co-founder of V&V, I appreciate your struggles and am proud of your accomplishments. It is my hope, my dream, my vision to someday see V&V serving the Raymond Thunder-Sky’s, the Antonio Adams and the Brian Joiners yet to be born.
I closed with this:
Today 10-22-08 my Mom would be 76 years old and Raymond would have been 58. Let’s make it a point to live our lives no matter how long or short with a sense of “Vision and Purpose”. Helping artists achieve a greater sense of their worth in this life is mine.
Top: Donald Henry and Bill Ross
Bottom: Becky Iker and Bill Ross