Archive for the ‘childrens mercy hospital’ Category

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a life to remember

February 2, 2009

How do you remember the times that you laugh and cry, the times that you argue, complain, fear, believe, hope, dream, love, and all of those
other aspects of life?  It is a moment, a simple memory, a fleeting thought, or a long pause?

We have been forced into the reality of life…a life to remember.  our son who has been battling neuroblastoma cancer, was freed from the 
battle on January 9th, 2009.  

Through this struggle we have appreciated having art as a language to express our feelings, thoughts, prayers; understood or not.
Below are poems in response to his life.
____________________________

why did you go?

i know you were strong and brave

our missing you is beyond pain and yet

you are so full of joy —

more than you even left with us,

which is hard to fathom,

excruciating to believe.

faith is unseen but true;

in weakness there is strength.

most don’t understand what you gave,

like the ONE…

your life LIVED not in vain,

but in such love, gifted gain,

welcomed pleasure

building life, home and eternity

with lions, a melting smile and more talent than

can be imagined.

Darin M. White

Copyright 1.22.09

CedarHeartInsideCopperHeartDW by you. WillYouSetHimFreeDEC2007SW by you. 
FoundationPurityIIKeyDW by you.
Sculptures by Darin White and Drawing by Shannon White, copyright 2009
____________

 

We love you, Caden, One of Joy, our Little Warrior.

Capture the heart of the King.

“Drink the wind”,

Ride the baby lion!

Shine your light;

Twinkle bright so we can See you at night.

Fish, Build, Play, Run fast. 

Fly into the sunrise. 

Live your Dreams now and Forever.

We won’t forget the Treasure you are

Precious little guy who brought us such joy,

A gift we can never replace.

Go with God!

Be at peace with no more pain.

Be Free! 

Be one with the Savior.

Love forever in His open arms.

Eat from the Tree of Life

Fruit of Forgiveness.

Days without end…

 

Shannon N. White  
Copyright 2009

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Confessions of a Garage, Hospital, Studio Artist

May 12, 2008

My former studio space has a new tenant!

Artist’s like to share their work with people, but sharing can take on multiple meanings in the day to day life and space an artist inhabits.  Does your garage double as your studio and share space with bicycles, cars, and household necessities like mine does?  I organize a garage sale each year to militantly protect my precious territory from ever encroaching outgrown children’s equipment that threatens my art space.  My husband has graciously offered to make me movable walls for my studio to make my space seem separate and serene.  May they expand and not contract.  My former studio, which is now inhabited by my son now doubles as a guestroom complete with bunkbeds and CARS comforters.  Guests must love children.  I have also enjoyed participating in an open studio painting class at the Lawrence Arts Center from Louis Copt to stay connected with other artists while motivating myself toward deadlines.  I must function in multiple working capacities to maintain my artistic life, but I am not willing to “let it go”.  Give it up for the right reason or for a short time, maybe, but not just let it go…  This creative life is something worth keeping and sharing.  Sharing in a variety of ways, as mentioned above.

PRAYER CHAIN papercuts by Shannon White 2008

MAHATMA CADEN leftover tempera on construction paper by Shannon White 2007

Last year my son was in the hospital for a third of the year, so I had to be satisfied with sketching in my sketchbook, using his leftover tempera paint on construction paper to paint his portrait off of his palette during hospital craft time, scavenging and drawing on the backs of slightly used disposable hospital gowns, and finally letting Henri Matisse’s and Peter Callesen’s paper cuts inspire me to make my first small scale installation work out of construction paper.  The theme and title for this installation was SIMPLE MEDIUM, and it already had its first showing.  I am still transferring the year’s small sketches into large paintings and bodies of work, into finished drawings, multiple completed series, and finally beginning to show them.  These challenges have inspired me to innovate, to expand my visual vocabulary to reflect recent experiences, to keep creating, expressing and sharing.  I have three group shows in the next few months (KS, CO & Bleeker Street, NY), work in an Oklahoma gallery, a portrait I am finishing and am hoping to have some solo shows, soon.   The past year was worth its weight in paint and relationships, shared time and space.  In tight spaces and seemingly hopeless places, vision can thrive.  The intensity of emotion, the condensation of concept, the urgency of expression can increase in these pressurized environments.  Capsules of life emerge.  Records of personal culture, inner turmoil, everyday life, the hope we hold onto surface and vitrify to be kept and read like cuneiform tablets preserved through fires.  This very difficult process is how we determine what is truly worth keeping and sharing.  May you all keep creating, living and sharing from whatever environment is available to us at the time.

FOUR FIGURES IN THE FIRE papercuts by Shannon White 2008

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Hope – The Theme of Now

September 9, 2007

                                                           Harvest of Hope

Hope is such a powerful word and amazing thing to grasp.  We have been dealing with this theme lately with the ongoing battle with cancer that our son Caden is fighting.  Shannon produced a painting called Harvest of Hope based on events surround his stem cell harvest.  She is also working on a series of finding Hope in Hopeless Places that is ongoing.  Darin is working on a sculpture about the events surrounding his illness and the hope that we have.  There is an event that some balm friends are putting on coming up in October that relates to Art and Hope, that will benifit an AIDS charity and we would encourage you to be involved if there is any way that you are able.  Hope Lawrence describes itself as: 

“Hope Lawrence exists to give hope to those in need by connecting the arts community of Lawrence, KS to the plight of those ravished by the AIDS epidemic as well as other social concerns.  It is our belief that the arts can play an important role in bringing attention to problems that have been overlooked for far to long.  Everyone has something unique they can offer, and as artists we can lend our voice and talents in order to bring some relief to those who are suffering.

Our first Hope Lawrence event will take place on October 6th and 13th from 3:30-5:30pm in the basement of the Lawrence Community Center.  For two hours on these two Saturdays we will come together to paint, sculpt, and draw around the theme of Hope.  This will be a communinal creative experience where each person will work on their own piece but in a collective setting where we can get to know one another and see each others works in progress.  In addition to our individual pieces we will also have the opportunity to work on a collective mural.  The event will culminate on October 20 when we will hold an auction/street sale where we will sell the pieces in order to raise money for a charity addressing the issue of AIDS in Africa.  We will announce which charity here at this blog in the coming weeks.”  See Original Post

Without hope it is impossible to really live life.  So for this end we would say give hope to those who do not have it, so that they to can live a full life.  Do whatever part you can to make someone’s life a little better. 

Even though we have physically not been able to have a gathering for balm recently, we want to encourage you to keep creating.  We want to thank those in the art community that have reached out and encouraged us in many ways.  We would love to see what you are working on.  Send us your updates of what is going on in your life.  If you have an upcoming show, a spoken word reading, a short film, a new design, a painting, a print, a new musical piece, a sculpture, a weaving, a thought, new writings, or anything else you would deem creative, let us know about it.  Keep creating…hope.

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Designs From Life

August 5, 2007

So, as noted in our last post the reason we bailed out on the last gathering was that our amazing son Caden came down with childhood cancer.  Events like this tend to make one rethink everything about life.  I always prefer to play to my strengths rather than weaknesses (maybe this is a weakness?).  After trying to absorb the effects that this was going to have on our family’s life, I thought about if there was anything that I could do about this situation.  Realizing that I was completely and not just completely, but COMPLETELY unable to do anything about neuroblastoma in myself.  It was a not-so-nice-I-think-I-would-like-to-stop-the-world-and-get-off-for-a-while feeling.  So besides praying (which is very worthwhile, and highly recommended) I wanted to do something.  I decided that I would collect the paraphernalia from the events surrounding the cancer that Caden is fighting and produce a sculpture.  Shannon mentioned in the last post that I was working on a sculpture, but I forgot to post a sketch.  This is a rough sketch, but I think it embodies some of the ideas I am trying to address.  I am using the actual items that Caden sees daily, or when in the hospital.  I am basically making a history of the event in this way.  I am going to insert them (aesthetically of course) into clear resin and have them surround the object in the middle, which I am hoping will be the glass encapsulated preserved tumor.  I know, I know this may sound a little bizarre to some.  I think it is more about facing fear, and knowing that whatever we go through, no matter how painful, we can do it.  So ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’?  Maybe that is how life is.  The truth is in how we respond to what we are given, rather than what we are given.  I would love to say I haven’t had any fear in this whole ordeal, but that wouldn’t be true.  I appreciate the prayers of those who are praying, as we can feel them in a real way.  Caden has been wonderful throughout this whole situation.  His attitude is excellent and his smile is infectous.  We are so blessed to have him.  We are taking steps, small ones maybe, but steps to learning how to face our fears, to overcome them and realize that even though we don’t like it, we can learn from them and be better off even than before.

Sculpture Design for Caden   IMG_7676

darin m. white 2007 Copyright

All Rights Reserved

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Art & Life Update

July 28, 2007

Lately, we have been challenged with the juncture of our art and our life.  Our four year old son mr. c was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, which has caused us to rearrange our artistic schedule and look at life with wonder.  This is the cause of our delay in the parabolic b.a.l.m gathering.  If you would like to find out more about his situation, we welcome you to visit his site.  We process each day in the hospital and at home and these unfamiliar and uninvited happenings in expressions of all sorts — words, emotions, prayers, sketches, questions of existence and connectedness.  D is collecting medical paraphenalia to make a sculpture about this ordeal.  He is also involved in helping others produce their work and running our businessS is encouraged in her pursuit of affirming people even in or especially in seemingly hopeless situations through painting and otherwise.  For her, sometimes the art is a life of caring for our son and the family, enjoying the beauty of time together, seeing beauty in others, and other times it is creating a painting.  She is gathering the radiology scans right now, and doing artwork with little C as part of his therapy.  She appreciates clients’ understanding about time frames on portraits she is finishing. 

IMG_7739  IMG_7742

We have been affirmed in so many ways from so many people during this passage.  There is beauty to be found in and on the other side of the suffering because of the discoveries it brings.  About life, love and goodness.  While there is not as much time for us to sculpt and paint right now, we are seeing and creating artistically.   We are being formed by these experiences.

IMG_7743 IMG_7738 IMG_7741

There is so much artwork around the CMH and RMH that has enriched our lives and given us comfort, that we wanted to document and share a few pieces.  Without it our days would seem a little bleaker, like a world without color or variety or hope.  We love the personalities which are expressed and the benefits we have received from them sharing their creativity with us.  We thank Children’s Mercy Hospital for investing and presenting this artwork, as well as the Ronald McDonald house and all of the respective donors.   We are constantly learning about the connections there are between creativity and healing.  Mr. C benefits from music therapy times in CMH and times making crafts of all sorts.  Engaging in creativity seems to comfort, soothe, mirror, occupy, divert, give expression to emotions and draw out hope and life.  It is a productive way of bringing a tangible beauty to raw pain and emotions and engage with others.  We are exploring these parts of artistic expression as well, personally, and with others.  We have also found a couple outlets for artists or people who want to use art for healing.

IMG_7727 IMG_7737 IMG_7745IMG_7732 

We want to connect with all of you and update those of you we have not spoken with personally about this situation.  We plan to have gatherings for artists, still, and want to hear from you about what you are working on, going through, excited about and how that influences your work as well.   Please contact us with ideas or about hosting the next gathering.   We appreciate those of you who linked Mr. C’s website on yours, so that more people will know the situation that he is in. 

IMG_7736 IMG_7733IMG_7731 IMG_7725

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