Parasites, Paint, and Friendship...oh my!

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A few weeks ago Stacey and I, with the help of our amazing paper hanger Shelly Wilkins of Walls Etc., installed the final panel of the BRI mural. If you missed the progress, read about it here.

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We started the project back in October and little did I know how good it would be for my healing. Stacey is a very unique person. She is wise beyond her years, extremely talented, patient, and persistent. In her words it was "bashert" destined, predetermined, meant to be. This project landed at the perfect time. She was supposed to get a different project, slated to start earlier but that one fell through. This one came along and Stacey needed help and a place to work on this large piece.

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A month after my mom's passing we began the mural. The days were filled with painting and discussions about so many things like death, religion, spirituality, relationships, food, travel and love. It was great to just show up and paint and not worry about clients and business things. We also learned new techniques from each other. I taught her how to glaze and she taught me how to see beyond the reference material. Stacey also met my studio neighbors and commented on what a great place the West End is, how we check in on each other and help one another with things. I think she would move in if she could!

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The mural itself is spectacular. It shows the people affected by the debilitating parasitic disease Shistosomiasis. The mural depicts a family doing their daily chores of washing and filling bottles of water at a local pond. Stacey meticulously illustrates how the disease infiltrates the body and its devastating consequences if left untreated. The second half of the mural (executed first) shows the work being done by BRI in facilitating a mechanism for a vaccine through the doors of the "hut" and lastly the people walking away, immune now from Shistosomiasis.

Here are some more images of areas I painted.

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I was so happy to see this work installed and ready to move on to the next project but also a bit sad that our daily talks would come to an end. Stacey's next project is working on her son Jonah's Bar-Mitzvah and my next project involves glass, paint, and metal leaf. We will have to have regular lunch dates in order alleviate our withdrawal symptoms.

Stay tuned!