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We stand in support of Black Lives Matter.  We demand truth, justice, and equality for all. We denounce systemic racism in all forms.
Black Lives Matter is not just a statement, it’s a verb that requires action.  Action on the part of the community to stomp, walk, shout, sing, vote, write and have conversations that awaken those who are still not supporting those that don’t look like them.  We need to look higher and be better.  We can never achieve and be the best of ourselves if we are not being our best to others.  Now is a GUT Check.
 
I am angered, saddened, sickened, disappointed and flat out tired of seeing so many people of color being killed, disregarded and denied equitable treatment.  As a Black woman that owns a Fine Art Gallery representing Black and Brown artists, we strive every day to support the voices and lives in our community locally and nationally that are often ignored in mainstream society. Despite this fact, our artists press on. Artists don’t stop creating just because institutions will not recognize or show their work.  An artist continues because they know the work’s relevance. Artists know their talents, and the histories they capture, are truth. They know their artistic expression is valid, and their point of view is important.
Frank Schroeder   “The Last Supper: Dealing with the Man”   Available for Purchase
Here at the gallery, we allow our intelligence to guide us and speak through the art. Gallery Artist Frank Schroder’s “The Last Supper: Dealing with the Man” is a piece that has sparked conversations in the Gallery, at Prizm Art Fair in Miami, and across the globe when it was featured by Forbes.com. A brief interpretation of the piece brings up so many themes that ring true about our current times. The composition is anchored by a table set with a white cloth. This proverbial “table” – where decisions are made, is draped in ignorance. It represents the establishment: cloaked and protected by white privilege. The system and society might invite us to the table, but our presence is not respected. Sitting at this table, thirteen black masks float disembodied, all in a row. While blacks have been nominally included in the national conversation over the past few decades, like the masks, we sit still in silence. Systemic racism and overt injustice have rendered black and brown people voiceless and without individual personhood or agency.

Schroder so simply amends this famous redo as “dealing with the Man.”  Society, educational systems, the workplace – every step of the way we are dealing with “the Man” – with a system rigged against us. But as the masks hover, the is a lightness to this message, and the background opens up to blue skies. As a black Frenchman, he so elegantly captures the universal black experience that results from the systemic oppression black and minority people face around the world: “Never let the man get you down.”
The work of Melvin Edwards is some of the most highly regarded Black art in the world. His ongoing series “Lynch Fragments” brings the ugly, violent, and shameful history of American racial injustice and the treatment of black and brown peoples on our continent into the world’s most prominent (and white) institutions. He explains that he chose sculpture as his medium because it seemed “a more direct way to deal with the inner subject.”

“Sculpture allowed me to put in, in a more natural way, things that people were saying you weren’t supposed to put in art, like race and politics. It allowed me to think more literally in those ways but have it come out in the work abstractly.”

– Mel Edwards


Image: Melvin Edwards “Untitled” Etching – available for purchase
 

The struggle is never over. There has always been the absence of any meaningful Black presence in the major museums or cultural institutions. I believe this is because those in power (meaning the predominately white members and trustees) decide what gets shown to the world and should be collected, preserving their (predominately white) legacy. We have always had great artist of color, but when you have people that don’t look like you say your work is not fit for their institutions, it becomes a hard truth that there is still racism in the art world.

As a leader in the arts community, we demand justice for Black and Brown Communities. Through our work, we share and connect with a diverse group of people, but in the arts industry we still have barriers to tackle.  We will claim space, call systemic racism what it is, and continue to break down barriers. 
 
Museums and cultural institutions are beginning to diversify their collections, but they still have a long way to go. When we see this blatant disregard for the Black narrative and history of the Black culture, as art advocates, I believe that we must demand these institutions be more reflective of the communities and diverse in their holdings. I also think they would benefit from more diverse decision makers in the boardrooms and executive levels. To acknowledge, and then take the necessary actions correcting, the lack of diversity of decision makers would be a small step in the right direction.
 
The mission of our Gallery is to present “Art and ideas that reflect a visual conscience of the times we live in,” not only to Atlanta, but to the world.   
 
When you visit any gallery, don’t ask why the art costs so much — priced as such? Given the cultural importance of the artwork, the personal connection, and the relevance to the current conditions of society, it’s crucial to be willing to engage in the opportunity to support a Black artist, Gallery, and a community that captures our lives and stories for generations to come.  If we don’t engage with, and acquire, the work alongside our history, how can we expect institutions to exhibit it, or do the same?
Artists like Schroeder and Edwards are telling black stories to the world. While the subject matter can be heavy and uncomfortable for people to digest, the sheer existence of their work stands tall in defiance of systemic oppression.

Art celebrates and immortalizes the black experience in the same manner it captures the imagination: with rich visual language and personal myth-making.  When we conduct artist talks and lectures at the gallery, we are sharing our truths and the realities of Black lives, and these conversations lead to understanding. The assimilation of beauty, even when digesting an ugly truth, brings healing.
 
As a gallery, we will continue to uplift black and brown people, and celebrate the creative spirit. Art has a transcendent quality of cutting through the noise and showing, rather than telling you, that you’re not alone. We are all in this together. These are unique and extraordinary times, but we could not be prouder to present beautiful and meaningful work, and share in dialogue with all of you.
 
As a Cultural Partner with other institutions I invite you to visit the Steffen Thomas Museum’s statement and website. They also have a list of resources for ways you can participate to help the cause.
 
CLICK HERE for a full list of petitions, bail funds, and more from the Steffen Thomas Museum.
CLICK HERE to see where to donate educational information. 

We are excited to announce we will be open to the public for regular Gallery hours beginning Tuesday, June 23rd. We ask that you limit your group to 4 people maximum. We are still taking appointments! Email us to schedule a viewing

STILL ON VIEW!!
Featuring Master Prints by

MEL EDWARDS  
SAM GILLIAM
RICHARD HUNT
WILLIAM T. WILLIAMS
CLICK TO LAUNCH EXHIBITION
CLICK TO VIEW EXHIBITION CATALOG
Stay safe and be well,
Artfully yours,
September Gray
FOLLOW SEPTEMBER GRAY FINE ART GALLERY ON SOCIAL MEDIA 
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September Gray Fine Art Gallery (SGAG) is Atlanta’s premier gallery specializing in contemporary works by established, mid-career and emerging African American and African Diaspora artists. SGAG presents historically and culturally significant works as a means for championing the preservation of the African Diaspora cultural legacy and narrative.

Our Offerings

SGAG denudes the intricacies of the art market by assisting corporate and private collectors with articulating and executing single acquisition and long-term collection strategies that both reflect their individual tastes and advance their short-term and long-term investment goals. 

In addition, SGAG offers a comprehensive range of complementary fine art, curatorial and consulting services to private and corporate clients and is conversant in the discreet assessment, acquisition and placement of fine art within its exclusive network of collectors.

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Dear Friends, 

A light was dimmed on May 2, 2020 as we lost Mr. Louis Delsarte – 
Professor, Muralist, Painter. His memory and art will live forever in our hearts.  He often referred to me as his daughter, which I felt was an honor.
 
Louis was a man that spoke with his paintbrush, and vividly expressed Black Culture and celebration.  He was a profound figurative expressionist, whose mixed media works on paper and canvas has drawn viewers into his dreams and fantasies for decades.  He understood the many dynamics of Black life, whether it be a black tie affair or an intimate family gathering. 

His work examines the poetic flow of life, death, and the other milestones that connect us all through the ages. Delsarte saw himself as “a conduit for the ancestors – channeling their voices in enchanting compositions” that reflect the jazz rhythms that filled his childhood home.
 
Louis Delsarte     Cotillion Ball
Born in New York City in 1944, Louis J. Delsarte III’s parents and grandparents were intricately involved in African American culture during the Harlem Renaissance, and he grew up surrounded and encouraged by creative people. His family were educators and community activists who gave tirelessly to the positive development of young people in their community. His mother enrolled him in classes at the Brooklyn Museum at the age of 9, and from then on he was never without his sketchbook and pencils.
Delsarte attended Brooklyn College, and later received his BA in Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute. He came up as a muralist in the bohemian art scene of downtown New York City in the 1960s. Even Andy Warhol commissioned him to paint the walls of the Electric Circus club with funky and psychedelic colors. Delsarte was definitely part of an eclectic, creative and elite circle.  

He then went out west, lived on a commune, and painted tarot cards and murals around Laguna Beach, CA, and eventually ended up in Arizona, where he received his MFA from the state University in Tucson in 1977.
Delsarte continued his parents’ legacy of education by working to influence and uplift the next generation of Black youth. Delsarte accepted a tenured teaching position at Morris Brown College in Atlanta 1990, and went on to teach at Howard University, Spelman College, and most recently as an associate professor at Morehouse College.
“Louis loved making connections through his art,” says his wife, Jea Delsarte. “People were fascinated by the color, images, mystery, fantasy and hidden layers.”

Acknowledged by critics as the “Dreamweaver” and “Spirit Conjurer,” Delsarte toys with romance, intrigue and spirituality as he seeks to strike a balance between reality and fantasy while exploring universal themes. His paintings, drawings and mixed media works are made up of spiritual and allegorical scenes, as well as every-day and archetypal experiences such as birth and death, or happiness and sorrow.
Dreams, Visions and Change, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Mural  – Peace Plaza 2010
 
His parent’s spirit of giving lived on in Louis Delsarte III, who utilized his art as a medium for positive social change in communities that he inhabits, as well as those that may be close to his heart. A short list of organizations who have benefited from his creative energy includes the International Rescue Committee, Jack & Jill of America, The Atlanta University Centers, Habitat for Humanity, National Urban League, the National Black Arts Festival, and the High Museum of Art.
The Spirit of Harlem (pictured) was originally commissioned for North Fork Bank in 2005, was later bricked over by a shoe store. The community erupted in protests, and the mosaic was restored in 2018.
For over 50 years, Delsarte utilized his art and his influence to affect positive change in communities, especially through the projects that he has selected in public art commissions. 
Some of his most visible works are the stamp commissioned by USPS to commemorate the march from Selma to Montgomery (2005), the mural Transitions at the Church Ave. Station in Brooklyn (2001), his mural at Peace Plaza (2010), and The Spirit of Harlem mosaic at 125th Street in New York.

All of his work in public spaces project Delsarte’s ideals of peace, love and community and continue his one man journey to creative excellence for the benefit of others.
“At first glance, his work appears to be eye candy. But the juxtapositions of complementary colors, analogous colors, primary, secondary and tertiary colors were complex and labor intensive. You could feel the aché [a Yoruba term for life force] coming off them and vibrating into people. If Langston Hughes was a poet of the people, then Louis Delsarte is the people’s painter.”

– Arturo Lindsay, Spelman Art History Professor
September Gray Fine Art Gallery was fortunate to have the last exhibition with Louis in 2018. Please enjoy watching our intimate times with Louis at the Artist talk moderated by Joe Barry Carroll.
Louis, your beautiful soul and artwork will live on in our lives and those who had a chance to meet you and collect your work.  

Gallery News

Gallery Artist, Jamele Wright Sr. will be featured in Searching for Home: are we there yet? at the Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott College. The show will run from September 3rd to December 12th, and will be available to view online, and by appointment. 
ReBORN #2  Mixed Media w/ Georgia Red Clay on Dutch Wax Cloth 5 x 11ft 2020

“My work is concerned with the Black American vernacular experience. The work entails collecting found materials, Georgia red clay, and Dutch Wax cloth. I am creating a conversation between family, tradition, the spiritual and material relationship between Africa and the South. My process is influenced by Hip Hop, the way it gathers different cultural influences through sampling. Liken to the music, my work is charged with an energy passed down, then channeled through the Diaspora lineage. The work is also inspired by the Great Migration of Black Americans, who left the familiar in the hope of something better.”
– Jamele Wright 

COMING THIS SUMMER!

We are excited to bring to you art from across the country! Join us on a captivating expedition through the work of regional artists.


Featuring works by

Jamele Wright, Sr. 

and

Wade Hampton

 
 
We are excited to bring to you art from across the country! Throughout the year, we hope to introduce you to new artists and gallery partners. A virtual “tour” and survey of contemporary American art, the Summer 2020 Tours d’Art will feature gallery artist Jamele Wright and Wade Hampton, presented by Hearne Fine Art. 
Right: Jamele Wright “A Man’s Wage” 2020 Mixed Media on Dutch Wax Cloth
Left: Wade Hampton “A Game of Chess” 2017 Oil on Wood
THE FOUR HORSEMEN is still on display!
Have a look at our exclusive Virtual Exhibition featuring fine art prints by four African American Masters…
MEL EDWARDS  
SAM GILLIAM
RICHARD HUNT
WILLIAM T. WILLIAMS
Presented by Raven Fine Art and Spetember Gray Fine Art
CLICK TO LAUNCH EXHIBITION
COLLECTOR’S CORNER 
Concerned about collecting textile art? Don’t worry!!
Here are a few tips to make sure your piece is in tact for the next generation…

Image: Jamele Wright In Transit #16  available for purchase
When displaying, avoid direct sunlight. This can lead to fading, and can weaken the fibers.
  • Consider UV filtering film on windows in the room where the piece is.
  • Remember to draw shades or curtains when the sun is the strongest or you are out of town.
  • Placing the art in interior rooms, like hallways can help with this.
  • Don’t let air blow directly over textiles. This can lead to a build up of damaging dust. Lightly dust your piece regularly.
  • Smells from cooking, smoke, or musty environments will be trapped in your textile piece so be sure to keep them far away from those activities and places.
When storing your piece, extreme changes in temperature or humidity can lead to mold growth. Keeping your pieces stored in the main part of your house with temperature control – this means not unfinished attics or basements – can help ensure your piece stays between 68° and 70° F and 40-57% humidity.
  • If your piece is stored, it should removed from its container periodically and aired out. If you encounter bugs or mold, it is best to give those issues to a conservator.
After taking all the necessary precautions and by following CDC guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all visitors, we are taking the next steps which will allow us to invite visitors to return to the Gallery. Using guidelines from the CDC, September Gray Fine Art Gallery will be available to visit starting June 16th by making an appointment. 
This way visitors will be able to coordinate their visits to ensure a safe and enjoyable time when visiting the gallery.  Please email us to make an appointment, or give us a call at 404-907-1923. Our hours are Tuesday to Friday from 11 to 6 and Saturday from 11 to 4.

We look forward to seeing you all!
Artfully yours,
September Gray
FOLLOW SEPTEMBER GRAY FINE ART GALLERY ON SOCIAL MEDIA 
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Twitter
Link
Website

September Gray Fine Art Gallery (SGAG) is Atlanta’s premier gallery specializing in contemporary works by established, mid-career and emerging African American and African Diaspora artists. SGAG presents historically and culturally significant works as a means for championing the preservation of the African Diaspora cultural legacy and narrative.

Our Offerings

SGAG denudes the intricacies of the art market by assisting corporate and private collectors with articulating and executing single acquisition and long-term collection strategies that both reflect their individual tastes and advance their short-term and long-term investment goals. 

In addition, SGAG offers a comprehensive range of complementary fine art, curatorial and consulting services to private and corporate clients and is conversant in the discreet assessment, acquisition and placement of fine art within its exclusive network of collectors.

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Dear Friends,
Here we are, experiencing an epidemic that is affecting the world, and one of the primary ways to protect ourselves for the moment is to isolate through social distancing.  Although this is difficult and uncomfortable for many of us, it can also be a time of creativity and self-reflection. 
 
Looking back in history, there have been many pandemics and economic disasters that have caused us to dig deep to find the magic in life that would give us hope, and strengthen our belief that we would not merely survive, but thrive, and have the chance to use our talents to help our fellow men and women. 

One impactful example of supporting creativity in a time of crisis is the Spanish government’s commission of Pablo Picasso for the 1937 World’s Fair. This resulted in the creation of one of his best-known works, Guernica. 

The painting was his immediate response to the bombing of Guernica, a town in Northern Spain, by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. It debuted in Paris, and was later shown all over the world, bringing international attention to the Spanish Civil War.  Read more here.

 In American history, we can look to the crisis of the Great Depression, and the impact of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt crafted the New Deal to provide hope during a stretch of great uncertainty. He wanted to put unemployed Americans back to work, and this included writers, photographers and artists. The New Deal’s drive for full employment, and acknowledgement of creative people, allowed some of the greatest artists of the Twentieth Century to be employed and create work, and created art centers across the country.

The WPA’s programs hoped to foster the role of the fine arts and artists in public life. This was a time to awaken the country’s awareness to our artists, and create pride and beauty during a hard time. 
 
The brilliant work of Jacob Lawrence during the WPA period brought awareness to the migration and life of black people in Harlem. Surrounded by significant teachers that influenced some of his most renowned work, such as The Migration Series, Toussaint L’ Overture, and others, he became Harlem’s biographer. 
Jacob Lawrence      “Migration Series”      Panel 45           1941
Click to view the entire landmark 1941 series about the mass movement of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North, and get an in depth look at the Great Migration from the Museum of Modern Art.
There is often an awareness of history in the modern work we see of contemporary artists.  I have the privilege of working with a group of artists that have created in the hardest times, and found meaning in the great upheavals in history.

The Great Migration is one of many stories imbued in Jamele Wright’s series “In Transit: The Return Home.” He is an excellent example of an artist creating work that reminds him of the struggle and the History behind it.


As a textile artist, Jamele’s work deals with the history of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade and the on-going upheavals of being Black in America.

He becomes the storyteller of his own history and connects the lives of those that came before to those that are here now, emphasizing how we are all connected.

Left Image: Jamele Wright  “In Transit” 
Below Image: Kevin Cole “Dancing With My Struggles”
When we see Kevin Cole’s work, he is drawing on the historical context of Jim Crow. Black men being lynched was the spectacle of the day – for just existing in the South and trying to vote.

This image in history was the motivation that Kevin needed to make his symbolic work.

Kevin uses the necktie as a metaphor for black men being lynched, but also uses his art to promote unity, peace, faith and love in the struggle, and to remind people why we have the right to vote.



Another artist that has given us beauty in struggle is Freddie Styles. 
Finding Solace, peace and spirit as an abstract expressionist growing up in the Deep South, Freddie’s connection to the world was the earth, family and his blackness. 
    Freddie Styles    “Blue and Green”    Available for purchase
Understanding the staccato of life in light and dark – the forces that nature can use to wreak havoc on the earth or to nurture it with sunlight, water and wind. Nature is a spiritual source that we benefit from, and Freddie’s work uses nature as his brush.

Freddie is honoring the spirit within by working with the tools God created.  Through leaves, pine needles and roots of different plants, he finds and creates the divine within.  Blackness becomes one with spirit.  Like nature, we see what we want to see, we feel what we want to feel. As human beings, we all feel the forces of nature.
In stillness and solitude, we use and reuse, we sing songs. We fuse parts of ourselves into others and we integrate parts of them in us. We recycle these many parts of our lives and stories until they become the magic of vibrant colors, textures, and sequences of repetitiveness – and we become flowing and free like the work – and we know that this is temporary  – and we continue our journey to learn more and share more….
We can all learn from artists,
who pass our history down through the wonder of creative expression and the artistic process; who can turn a dark time into something beautiful and meaningful.

Let’s connect and love out of this with awareness and more compassion for our fellow human beings.

Remember, that this isolation – like art – gives perspective to life, and a deeper understanding of our lives and of those around us.

Artfully yours,
September Gray

BLACK VOICES ON THE AIR
The Federal Music Project mostly produced orchestral music, however, the project also employed musicians and researchers involved in regional and marginalized forms of music. This mixtape from WYNC contains several FMP recordings of African American choral groups singing spirituals and other traditional songs.
Image: Charles Alston “Jazz Club” c.1930s  WPA Artist

Click to learn more

For the time being, the opening reception of Simmons’
A RECKONING
is on hold.

Danny has a message for you all:

I was really looking forward to my exhibition at September’s Gallery. Having not had an exhibit for about a decade in The ATL it was the highlight of my exhibition schedule for 2020. Friends and family living in Atlanta had been urging me for years to pursue an exhibit with September.


So here we were… two weeks away with the work in transit to Atlanta and this horrible virus fully gripped the nation. We all need to adhere to social distancing to “flatten the curve,” to stay safe – to come out on the other side of this healthy. So sure, I’m disappointed, but I’m using the time at home in my studio painting, taking advantage of a few of the virtual museum exhibitions and staying in close touch with loved ones.

Stay home, read, be creative, text, call, use the internet to stay engaged, but above all keep yourselves and your families safe. I’m looking forward to meeting many of you soon at the September Gray Gallery once when we get this crisis behind us.

All the best,
Peace
Danny Simmons


Four
Master African American Abstract
artists
who have defined
the field.



Virtual 
Exhibition

Opening
May 9th. 
We are pleased to announce that THE FOUR HORSEMEN put on in collaboration with Raven Fine Art Editions, will debut as a virtual exhibition as scheduled on Saturday, May 9th.

The title “The Four Horsemen” symbolizes a force of conquest and transformation. In the Bible, four is a number associated with creation. This exhibition presents a selection of works created with the use of various printmaking techniques and processes, and is organized by Curlee Raven Holton, master printer and founding director of Raven Editions Press.
Watch Jeremiah Ojo in conversation with Frank Schroeder! Click to launch
At the end of February, we hosted Art Business Consultant Jeremiah Ojo in conversation with artist Frank Schroeder. They discussed Schroeder’s newest collection of work Black Politics Act I and took questions from the audience. Their discussion touches on many aspects of Schroeder’s work and illuminates his thought process. Enjoy the full video of the talk here!
Like what you hear?
Schroeder made a Black Politics playlist to share with all of you!
These are the tunes that filled his studio in Languedoc, France while he created the Black Politics series. Enjoy!  (Click HERE for Clean version of the playlist)

You can still appreciate all of Schroeder’s work!
See Black Politics Act I and view all of Frank’s available work HERE and on our Artsy page.

We would like to congratulate Kevin Cole, once again on receiving the Larry D. and Brenda A. Thomas Award from the University of Georgia! 
 

We are also excited for Freddie Styles to have yet another piece in the to be rescheduled, Swann Auction House’s African – American Fine Art Auction, and four pieces being considered for the upcoming LGBTQ + Art, Material Culture & History Auction.

Image: Freddie Styles
“Detail of – The Feather #2”
Available for purchase
During this time, all of our available inventory can be found on Artsy.net. If you are interested in purchasing, or viewing a piece in person, please do not hesitate to reach out!
< CLICK TO SEE
Museums and cultural institutions have had to shutter their collections to keep workers and visitors safe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience them!

See our list of virtual cultural content, and more here!
Betye Saar    The Phrenologer’s Window    1966    
Spending more time at home doesn’t mean we disengage from our interests. In fact, the opposite is true – when we are not distracted from work and the hustle of everyday life, we are able to dig deeper into the questions and activities for which we usually run out of time.

Without the daily grind, we can do some of our most creative work! If you’re needing a distraction or a break or a breath, don’t forget to take time for some feel-good things to soothe mind, body and spirit!
Earlier in the month, we hosted Deborah Riley Draper as we screened her NAACP Image Award winning documentary, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice. This film tells the harrowing story of the black athletes on the 1936 American Olympic Team. 

Everyone knows the story of Jesse Owens, but there were 17 other black men and women who made the journey to Berlin to compete, despite the racist and antisemitic hatred spewed by the Nazi regime. The film is illuminating and moving, and we salute and applaud Draper! She has given voice to a group, and life to a story, that the rest of America had forgotten.

The film is available for rent on Amazon and Vimeo, and we hope that you put it on your watch list!
When the plague hit London, Isaac Newton was a student at Cambridge and was sent home to continue his studies. He referred to this period as “his annus mirabilis” – his “year of wonders.” He began his work on modern calculus, his theory of optics, and found himself under that proverbial (or not?) apple tree…
Read the story from the Washington Post here!
So we know that this is not the first time modern people have had to confine themselves to their homes.

Luckily for us, these moments in history not only show us the kindness of strangers, but also the resiliency of the human spirit.
LEND A HAND
If you’re looking for ways to help, look here for more information.

If you know of any local initiatives to help creatives, the elderly, the homeless, or our healthcare providers you would like us to share, please email us.


The Red Cross is always accepting blood donations!
Image: Kevin Cole
“Living on Borrowed Time”
“But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people, and do our best to help them find their own grace. That’s what I strive to do, that’s what I pray to do every day.”

President
Barack Obama
Image: Charles White “Love Letter #1” 1971