”City of Flint Water Div.”
Spending years on a manhole cover hunt across the country, you start to appreciate our intricate, massive, and presumably indestructible infrastructure. Most of our pieces are created from sewer or water covers and many are over 100 years old. We can admire the beauty of their exterior designs but have no clue whats happening below. Like most American’s, I guess I’ve always taken clean (and usually free) water for granted. We expect that what we are drinking is pure and something we should never have to think twice about – almost a right.
I’ve been following the Flint tragedy since it broke two years (now 5) ago and it’s a horrific story. Neurotoxins in lead can lead to brain damage and children were the most vulnerable. I thought about my nephews, niece, and every other kid I know – and how each child in Flint is just as precious and should receive the same opportunity everyone else does. I wanted to help in some way and found Flintkids.org through a search. It’s a great organization that provides a 20+ year support system for the kids most affected by the lead contamination. In June 2016, I drove to Flint, made three prints, and auctioned them for the Community Foundation of Great Flint raising over $1,200. You can read about it and still purchase prints for the cause at Prints for Flint
The portrait the media painted of Flint was nothing like being there in person. There are real struggles, but it’s a lot like every town – cafes and shops, beautiful architecture, clean parks, and a lot of smiles. I met some amazing people who really care and a city staying strong.
I drove back to Flint this past July to make a couple prints from the same cover and specifically for ArtPrize. A portion of the proceeds from the original canvas and the fine art prints will be donated to this or other organizations working with children affected by the lead crisis.