Since we relocated from Acton to Gloucester, MA in 2012, our daughter has made us aware of an alarming number of suicides in our former community shared through social media. The events triggered a major article in the Boston Globe about the families coping with their losses. I had already begun work on I Am More as the news came in waves, and it became important to me to create a reminder that each person who dies by suicide was so much more than that one event. Arielle, a fellow artist, grew up in my current community of Cape Ann, and her mother, Anne, generously shares with us who she was to her family: Continue reading
The first time we met James, or “Jim” we were at a family barbecue of friends, we had just moved to Gloucester, and each member of the group was sharing their two cents about life in Cape Ann. Then Jim began an eye-opening and hilarious, but loving, explanation of this unique place. It turns out that is the default state of his mind, finding the hilarity and beauty of a place or a situation. When he received an unexpected diagnosis last year, his updates on his condition evoked spit-takes rather than grimaces, as you will read below. In a very “Boston” tribute, he reminds us that we are all more, thanks to the nurses:
Things are rolling along so quickly here with I Am More I needed to get an update out before I lose track of all of the happenings. Continue reading
Believe it or not, the reference photos I took of Joe for his portrait took place outside in front of his house on a bitterly cold day. I was looking for light, and the brown winter grass and bare bushes couldn’t be helped. What captivated me was the ease in which Joe could move over the terrain in any direction. When I got back home and looked at the images, the barren winter landscape became irrelevant. Joe and his wheelchair reminded me of Professor X from the X Men movies. Continue reading
Maleeka is a perfect of example of a person you see walking down the street–beautiful, put-together, warm and open, who makes it impossible to believe the experiences she has been through. After sharing her story with me, we met at the Salem Willows, a park full of happy memories that she continues to create with her own family:
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides education, advocacy and support at the national, state and local level. There is likely to be a NAMI chapter in your area that provides free support groups and resources for those in mental illness recovery and their loved ones.
I was happy to have NAMI Cape Ann as our partner at the opening of I Am More last year, and next week NAMI Greater North Shore will be hosting the original 16 portraits for an evening event at the Danvers Art Association: Continue reading
Meeting Eliana in person, it was obvious that this was a person who put others first. She went out of her way to make sure our meetings were convenient for me in every way. Now that I know where she’s come from and what she’s been through, it’s clear that a life of service was her natural calling. Her portrait honors the historic mill town where she grew up:
A huge thank you to BankGloucester for sponsoring a new Gloucester portrait to be unveiled this spring. Their generosity will enable this portrait to travel around the state as part of I Am More: Massachusetts.
Thanks to additional new sponsors Ocean Alliance, Laurie Taylor, and Anne and Richard Rosenfeld for helping to make this traveling display possible.
This brings us to $22K of our goal of $40K for I Am More: Massachusetts !
If you would like to help make the I Am More: Massachusetts displays possible, checks can be made out to Ocean Alliance with “I Am More” on the memo line, and sent to Amy Kerr, 3 Ledge Road, Gloucester, MA 01930. All contributions are tax deductible. Any amount helps! Continue reading
This November Iain and I found ourselves in the Old Indian Meeting House in Mashpee, MA. David had invited us for the Mashpee Wampanoag Thanksgiving service and meal, and after watching him lead the drumming group we listened to each member of the tribe describe what they were thankful for, and the overwhelming answer was…each other. Witnessing David acting as a leader in his community, it now becomes clear after reading his piece where that leadership came from: Continue reading
If you find yourself living with someone with depression, and you may at this particular time of the year, here is what I’ve found helpful (and not): Continue reading