Thursday, March 26, 2015

Prayers for Mary Pat

 (Above:  Recycler, Decision Portrait Series.  2009.  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

Back in 2009 I was hard at work creating the Decision Portrait Series.  Eventually there would be 108 works and many solo shows.  The series is conceptually strong, deeply emotional, and includes many powerful portraits.  One of my favorites has always been Recycler, depicting Mary Pat Baldauf, the city of Columbia's Sustainability Facilitator. (To read more about Mary Pat the Recycler, CLICK HERE.) Last week Mary Pat suffered a brain aneurism.  Her mother and sister Beth have been at her side in the hospital since then.  Beth has been posting updates on Facebook to a stunned Columbia ... because ... well ... Mary Pat knew EVERYONE.  Everyone has been impacted by Mary Pat's recycling efforts but also her personal transformation shared through cute hair cut photos and other Facebook images.  (Mary Pat doesn't really like the portrait I stitched anymore.  Why?  Well, taking advantage of the city's fitness programs, she lost 100 pounds since 2009!)

 (Above:  Mary Pat's most recent Facebook profile photo.)

This is the Mary Pat that Columbia is praying for.  There's a benefit recover fund and hundreds of people praying all over the country and beyond.  Not everyone, however, can give money.  Not everyone feels comfortable visiting a hospital.  Not everyone knows what might be appreciated ... but a few of us could guess!  My friend Dolly Patton had an idea, something that anyone might do and something that Mary Pat would absolutely love.  This idea is also meant to support Beth, their mother, and their extended family.  Dolly contacted me and our mutual friend Margaret Neville.

So ... what's the idea?  Well, Dolly envisioned "a book" of well wishes, prayers, favorite photos of Mary Pat, great inspirational quotations (Mary Pat LOVED these sort of things), shared stories, and any other words/art/messages/support.  She and I brain-stormed.  Dolly and Margaret brain stormed.  The plan was put into action.  I cut dozens and dozens of 8" x 10" mat boards.  All sorts of pretty colors.  I created a "template" for drilled holes.

The holes are 1/2" from one long edge.  One hole is in the middle.  The other two are 1" from either short end.  I carefully aligned a pile of mat boards, clamped the template on top, and drilled the holes.

I used 2" binder rings and made three books!  These books can be taken apart ... allowing more than one person to create "a page" at the same time.  People in far away places can create their special page on any 8" x 10" mat board (or recycled cereal/food box) and mail them for inclusion.  We can add more "pages".  We can make more "books".

To participate, just go to Margaret's wonderful business and make a page for Mary Pat (or mail yours!):

 The Mad Platter. 

  • 3101 Millwood Avenue
  • Columbia, SC, United States 29205
  •  (803) 771-8080
  •  Hours of Operation
    Sundays - 1 - 6 PM
    Mondays CLOSED
    Tues - Fri 10 - 9 PM
    Saturday 10 - 6 PM

(Above:  Altered cereal box with the words:  Love. Prayers for Mary Pat from Steve Dingman with Love from Susan Lenz.)

I had the honor of making the first page.  I cut Steve's cereal box to 8" x 10" and collaged it on one side ...

... and the other!

(Above:  Me, Margaret, and Dolly on the second floor waiting area of Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital.)

Here we are ... three book ... ready to be filled with PRAYERS for MARY PAT.
I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber artwork.


Sandy said...

So sorry Susan,
Our sewing group recently lost a much loved member to a brain haemorrhage. It is so very hard when they are a vibrant part of the community/group.
All the best for the project and hope for Mary Pat.

Mosaic Magpie said...

Uplifting for Mary Pat and all those that read this post. You are a good friend with a giving heart. I have always loved the Decision Portrait Series and wondered about those featured. Get well soon Mary Pat.

quiltedfabricart said...

What a great idea! I'm sure she will be touched by the kindness and caring of the community.

Teresa Duryea Wong said...

Sounds like a wonderful idea. I hope she recovers.

Judy Warner said...

Beautiful thought to create this opportunity for friends and family to channel their energies. Prayers for Mary Pat.

Regina B Dunn said...

Such a wonderful idea. You are such a generous person. I'll include Mary Pat in my prayers.

Wanda said...

Mary Pat is in my prayers as well. I love your idea. the Mad Platter the place you can go and make your own ceramics? If so, I just want you to know that the fish platters that "the boys" made me all those years ago are still my favorite and I still use them!