Someone once said that most of us will reach a point in our lives when we feel that we’ve lost our way and are overtaken by a personal uncertainty so profound that it allows darkness and despair to take root deep within our core. Some call it a midlife crisis and try to fix it by acquiring exotic sports cars or leaving their spouses for younger mates, or both. For others, treating the condition may require more than just ludicrous amounts of Italian horsepower and a prescription for Cialis. In my case, the crisis took on epic proportions. A series of devastating personal losses over a period of six years, including the deaths of my partner and both of my parents, plunged me into a period of recurring depressive episodes that robbed me of my capacity to think positively about myself. I withdrew from life, sometimes going for weeks without leaving the house. Those years were truly the “dark night of my soul,” and emerging from that darkness has been perhaps the greatest challenge of my life; however, thanks to the love and support of my family and friends, I was able to hold on to my faith in God despite my inner struggles.
In particular, it was with the help of my sisters that I was recently able to feel a rebirth of hope in my life after nearly a decade. In no way do I lay claim to any Universal Truth. By definition, matters of faith are personal and not provable. Thus, I can only state what is so for me, and it is this : I was lifted up and out of my darkness by something greater, more powerful and more loving than anything I’ve ever experienced. I call it Divine Grace. It saved my life. The process of reclaiming my will to live began showing measurable results less than three months ago, when I decided to actively pursue my long-held dream of opening my own business once again, but this time as a way of seeking a higher purpose for my life.
The concept for my business has been evolving at the same pace that my search for purpose has been unfolding. As a friend recently put it, I am moving “at the speed of trust.” The more I trust that I exist for a purpose the clearer my thinking becomes, and my ideas become less about me and more about my community. What started as a straightforward idea for a vintage furniture and home décor store has evolved into a concept for a gallery space where art and design can cross-pollinate and blossom, stimulating the meaningful exchange of ideas and strengthening the sense of community among neighbors and the city in general.
Specifically, the gallery will provide a platform for emerging artists to exhibit, sell and talk about their work through an Artist in Residence program (AIR) which will provide artists with the following:
1. The chance to stage solo exhibitions of their work and lead discussions about its message and relevance.
2. The chance to create group exhibits with other artists of their choosing, as to spark discussions about important social, cultural and political issues.
3. The chance for artists to collaborate with product and furniture designers to create beautiful and functional objects for the home.
In addition, in response to government trends for defunding the arts, I am establishing The Gilbert H. Carver Memorial Fund for the Arts (GHC-MFA) a non-profit charitable fund, in memory of my late partner. It will offer need-based financial assistance to Fresno public school students in grades K-12 whose artistic development stands to suffer due to government cuts to public education in the arts.
WHY GOFUNDME ?
I believe art can ignite meaningful conversations that make a difference in our communities, sparking understanding and empathy among divergent factions. Art can positively alter the way we relate to each other across the walls that divide us by race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, etc. Communities are healthier when they encourage free artistic expression and promote the respectful discussion of the issues raised by their artists. For all these reasons, I believe art has value. It doesn’t matter if it’s considered fine art, street art, or any kind of art, as long as it is born from a yearning to express something that matters to its creator. If someone’s art was worth making, then it’s worth making the effort to understand its message.
I am currently raising money which will go toward securing a brick-and-mortar location for Parabolic. I'm asking my friends and family, as well as anyone who values the arts and wants to promote free speech through art to please pitch in and help to reach this goal. Together, we can make a difference.
Thanks for your support and generosity.
Parabolic needs a home
A crowdfunding campaign to secure a
brick-and-mortar location for my business.