A blog devoted to unifying all people through artistic traditions.
People are still dying in the desert. From thirst. From exposure. Freezing alive in the cold. Baking to death in the sun. The crossing is so perilous that attempting the walk alone is inviting certain disaster. At the same time, anyone who falters must be left behind lest the group be discovered in this fright-filled journey to the north. Often, it is those who have been left behind who are discovered by the Samaritans. If they are found alive, their wounds are attended to, their thirst is sated. But the journey never ends.
For over forty years, Ellen Elmes has been painting southern Appalachia - its people, its flora, its moods, its hopes, its despair, in short, its compelling and complex beauty. Her paintings reside in homes, museums and galleries, as murals in communities throughout the mountains, and in the hearts and minds of the countless people who are depicted in her work. In a large sense, Ellen's work has been a joyous affirmative mirror to the people of Appalachia.
We made our way over miles of hilly rough dirt/rock roads to the No More Deaths Camp. This camp runs full tilt in the summer, staffed by mostly young student volunteers who camp in the rough, running path patrols, leaving water in the desert, searching for people. At this time of year (winter), the camp is empty, but the shrine to those who have died in the desert remains, constructed of items found in the desert. it is a sobering reminder of the gravity of the plight of the migrants.
While an English major at Western Maryland College, 1964 - 1968, Walt spent three summers as a student volunteer in McDowell County, West Virginia. Here is a narrative that Walt wrote for a published collection of student remembrances entitled The Journey Outward, published in 2001.
In 1994, Walt Michael came back to his home state of Maryland with a mission and vision to create interracial harmony through the traditional arts.Read More
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