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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sunday, July 4--Call for help!

We have a sale scheduled this Sunday, July 4th, but we lack staffing. The sale will be from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (allow an additional hour to pack up).

Sharon will be there, but this is in no way a one-person endeavor!!

The location is in Denver, at the City Park Esplanade on East Colfax, next to East High School (Columbine St. at E. Colfax Ave.).
Click here for a map.

If you can help, please let us know ASAP via an email to

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Art as a bridge to memories

One of our members and jewelry makers, Omhagain Dayeen, was recently asked to show her sketch and painting work for one month at the headquarters of The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). Many thanks to Lonnie Wiens, CDOT IT guru by day, art show curator on the side for making Omhagain’s show possible.

A special thanks is also in order to Leo Livecchi, married to an ALS founder and a somewhat reluctant supporter of A Little Something. He also works at CDOT. It was Leo’s idea to have Omhagain participate in CDOT’s rotating art gallery show.

After a lot of logistical wrangling, the show started to come together today. Lonnie said, “I am honored to have Omhagain’s work here. She’s an amazing artist.”

Lonnie, Omhagain, her husband, Kamal, and a friend, Susan Taylor, were on hand today, hanging pictures, arranging images and hanging the show. In addition, a film crew was getting footage of the action.

As it turns out, the film crew is from the State Department and filming a documentary about Darfuris living in the U.S. Omhagain has worked tirelessly to bring attention to the issues of Darfur, and she donates part of the profits from her art sales to buy clothes and food for refugees currently in Chad.

Omhagain came to the US as a refugee, an artist displaced from the country and culture she treasured. Her early US works reflected her melancholy. They were mostly subdued, technical, and factual images of her memories of home.

Her current work shows a woman who has found hope and joy in those same memories. Figures dance and move in bold colors. Human shapes are round and robust, enjoying a prosperous Sudanese life. The pictures show beauty, color, and vibrant images. They tell a story about Sudan and Omhagain’s love for what she left behind.

Before becoming a refugee, Omhagain had earned her Master’s degree in art education in Sudan. She was both an artist and a teacher. She wove tapestries and designed textiles. She had a passion for both creating and teaching, and it was obvious that she felt the power of art and the creative force.

Omhagain admits that she had to find herself again, both as a woman and an artist, after coming to the United States. She is quick to acknowledge that she got to where she is today with the help of friends and people who took the time to care, to sit, to listen, and to encourage. Ultimately, though, what comes out in Omhagain’s art is her love of faces, color, motion, and the people in her world, past and present.

More than art, Omhagain’s work shows the beauty of a culture now under siege. Perhaps a show in as unlikely a space as CDOT headquarters will help further the conversation about how we are connected to people around the world. Perhaps Omhagain’s art will shed some light on a part of the world that needs as much love and light as can possibly be generated before it can heal.

Omhagain's art is for sale. The exhibit is open to the public during regular business hours, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Check in at the front desk. The art is displayed on both the first and second floors, in the halls. CDOT is located at 4201 E Arkansas Ave. in Denver. For more information, call 303-757-9011.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Getting the left and right together

We've been busy behind the scenes at A Little Something. We're trying to set up a system where our members take more leadership and responsibility in the organization. We're working on an instructional video. We 're still trying just to get our nonprofit paperwork submitted to the IRS. We're trying to rent an office. We're trying to do this around our day jobs!

Growth is a challenging process, and it takes a lot of attention to detail to get the big tasks taken care of.

Sometimes, that means the small tasks can get overlooked.

Back in April, we finally got an address of our own--although it was just a post office box. It seemed like a good way to make sure people could send us mail and know we would receive it. There was only one glitch--I thought Katrina was checking the mail. Katrina thought I was checking the mail.

Nobody was checking the mail.

I remembered to stop by the post office this past weekend, and I made my first trip to our PO box. I opened the little door and found the following:
  • A small package
  • A misdirected piece of mail
  • A notice of a parcel that had been sent but that required a signature
  • A second notice about that same parcel indicating it would be sent back if not claimed in a couple of days. That, unfortunately, was in April.
To the kind person (B. Riley?) who sent us a package that required our signature, we offer a sincere and humble apology. By now, you have probably received that parcel back. Please don't think we didn't want it or that it went to the wrong place. Quite simply, we just weren't at the post office to receive it. We feel bad knowing you were so thoughtful to send us something and so careful as to send it certified mail, but we missed it. We are sorry.

I promise we'll be more diligent about picking up our mail going forward. We'll be stopping by the post office once a week, probably on Saturdays. Please, send us fan mail, beads, donations, or anything you think we'd like to receive--just don't send us any bills!