COMPASSION Fundraiser to Raise Money for a Lost Soul on Hard Times
By Isaias Crow
You know why I have so much passion in creating workshops that promote inner-peace and positivity via the arts and why part of my artistic career is to promote other artists? Because what I want for me – I want for everybody else. I find it to be of great joy when I give to others just as I have received from others. I am paying it forward.
Now, I find myself in a position where I am asking from you.
About 2 months ago a good friend of mine called me and asked me to assist him in co-curating an art exhibition in a space he had acquired. When I met him seven years ago, he was a successful pastor at a local San Diego church, so naturally I was intrigued in what he was envisioning plus, I had not seen my friend in several years.
I invited him into my sacred space – my home and welcomed my partner Irene to join us in the conversation being that my friend (whose name we’ll keep anonymous – so we’ll call him JP) wanted to share some exciting news with us as he had put it.
We all sat around in the living room and if you know JP – he’s a talker – in my mind, better than a pastor he’s a great salesman.
Well in his talk he shared that he no longer was a pastor and that 4 years ago he went through a nasty divorce. He further explained that he’s been going through a custody battle and all sorts of court hearings as a consequence of the divorce. Additionally because of the stress and emotional pain, he commented that he had been getting himself in some personal trouble in Tijuana.
He then continued to share that all the people that were a part of his church have all turned their backs on him. He said, “I have no money, nowhere to go and no one to talk to,” but somehow by the grace of God and opportunities that came his way, he was able to come back to his senses and realized that he could heal via the arts and representing artists.
One of those opportunities was a great experience he had at Art Pulse creating documentaries of local SD and Tijuana artists. “That gave me a new entire hope,” he said. “To hear other creative artists stories was very healing to me.”
He then explained that the space he had was in a basement inside a newly constructed building at the corner of 25th and the I-94 freeway. And that he would really like for me to help him get the gallery space up and running. The space was only 1 element of 5. Here is the list of the 5 elements to the entire program as he explained it to me:
- Represent and advocate artists.
- Show artists work inside the new gallery loosely named Fine & Dandy
- Host speaking engagements for the artists that he advocates for.
- Create a team around each artist and go on missions around the globe with the intention of creating a “membership” program for those interested.
- Create a protégé program to team up professional artists with up and coming artists and youth.
Well, you should have seen my face – he was speaking my language and here was a friend of mine who I knew for 7 years and all my experiences had been fruitful with him. This dear friend of mine was asking and crying out for help.
I told him that he was more than welcome to come eat at our home whenever he wanted, that Irene would cook him meals and that he was welcome to use our shower anytime. Regarding the gallery and representation of artists I said, “You know what JP, I am really busy with my own projects and curating art exhibitions is not my background…”
Before I could finish my sentence he interrupted and sold me, he said, “All I need is ideas for shows and soon I’ll be representing you and bringing more opportunities for you and other artists.”
It is no secret that I enjoy sharing the good vibes with other artists and the youth and when I can, I even invest in their work. So like I said, JP is a great salesperson. I agreed and before I knew it, I was fully vested into the project/vision with not only ideas but everything I had I put forward.
In the timeframe of about 2 months, I invited and coordinated with 8 of my favorite artists from both San Diego and Tijuana, created a team of volunteers to help me get the vacant basement cleaned, had blank canvases donated for the invited artists to paint, painted, cleaned and organized the inside of the basement/space to look like a gallery and much more.
Meanwhile, JP had meetings with “potential investors” for the entire program. I was hyped and felt very happy to be of service to not only JP but to 8 amazing artists I admire.
The drawback now is last week I had to cancel the exhibition. Here is why. On countless occasions, JP promised to do certain tasks to help push the exhibit forward and failed to deliver each time.
We would sit down and meet in regards to his performance and every time he would conclude by saying he was still working out his personal issues yet these personal issues kept interfering with his work towards this exhibit.
The last straw for me was when JP came over to my home about a month ago and explained to me that he could not find the resources or the money to make the exhibition happen.
Having been a professional artist for some time now, I thought of some ways to assist him in that area, so I stepped up and invited my friend who’s been a benefactor to me on personal projects. This friend of mine gave JP a check for $2,500.00 with the clear instruction for him to deliver that check to me so I could invest it in the exhibition as I saw fit.
To make a long story short – I received only $400.00 of the $2,5000 from JP, the rest of the money he chooses not to give back even though I’ve asked him for it.
Understanding that, I had to regrettably cancel the exhibition and have now essentially wasted 8 professional artists’ time and money because most of them were creating new works of art to showcase for our “Fine & Dandy” Exhibition scheduled for July 26th 2014. Not only that, a couple of them moved things around their professional/busy schedules – including one cancelled international flight to accommodate our exhibition’s date – that both JP and I had confirmed.
I am disappointed I invited all these great artists and friends to participate in something that is not happening due to my friend JP’s inner pain. I would like to keep my word to the artists and my benefactor and create an awesome exhibit for these amazing artists to participate in (at a different location and without JP). Allow me to explain.
I have clearly chosen to see past this moment and understand that my friend JP is in a predicament. He thinks that at the moment he needs money but what he really needs is an opportunity for him to get back on his feet.
He’s looking for that opportunity no matter the costs. But in order for him to get back on his feet, he needs to heal first. He obviously is in dire need of healing because he can’t stop himself from naturally distributing his inner poison – which again has nothing to do with me or the other artists and people involved – but has everything to do with his own past actions and circumstances that our now affecting his present moment.
Seeing that JP would not return the money, I then explained to him that he could keep the $2,100.00 and that I would figure out a way to pay back my benefactor. “That is a gift that I would like for you to have as we terminate our friendship,” I told him.
The friendship has ended from my end for the reason that it has gotten to be very taxing on me energetically, spiritually and now financially. But, that does not mean I can’t send love and light towards his way.
My benefactor has decided to call his lawyer and go into a legal battle with JP. I pleaded with my benefactor to please be compassionate and to give me some time to pay him back. My friend JP is at the tip of possibly going into another legal battle and possibly losing his opportunity to be free and be with the person he loves most – his daughter.
I am seeking your help to raise the $2,100.00 dollars that JP refused to return so I can pay that money back to my benefactor before JP ends up in the hot seat again.
As it is, I know I am a blessed man, I have now come to an agreement with my benefactor – if I am able to raise the funds to pay off JP’s debt – he will still apply those funds towards the original vision – to have an exciting exhibition with talented artists from both San Diego and Tijuana on July 26th 2014.
I have chosen to respond to JP’s actions with COMPASSION and LOVE, the only tools that I use to create my entire body of work. This has been the case for me for these past six years now. This is not a burden to me, it is a reminder for me to clearly see where I am at as a person and as a public servant for the betterment of mankind. I am thankful to JP and wish him the best.
Please, if you have ever been through a slump in your life – I know I have – please consider helping me in avoiding JP, a person in need, possibly going to jail or another long run of court dates. I care for him. I consider him a friend who at the moment needs a lot of love and good vibes in his life because for the past several years he’s only received heartaches and blows to his heart and mind.
Here is what I would gift you for your donation:
Donation of $1 – $19 = A personalized Gratitude email. Text Only.
Donation of $20 – $99 = A personalized Gratitude Card. With Text and Drawings.
Donation of $100 – $199 = A personalized Gratitude Card. With Text and Drawings and A “Crow’s Aura – Positive Affirmation” T-shirt
Donation of $200 – $299 = A personalized Gratitude Card w/ Text and Drawings and A “Crow’s Aura – Positive Affirmation” T-shirt and an Original SMALL Scale Painting Approx 12”x12”.
Donation of $300 – $399 = A personalized Gratitude Card w/ Text and Drawings and A “Crow’s Aura – Positive Affirmation” T-shirt and an Original MEDIUM Scale Painting. Approx. 24”x24”
Donation of $400 – $550 = A personalized Gratitude Card w/ Text and Drawings and A “Crow’s Aura – Positive Affirmation” T-shirt and an Original LARGE Scale Painting. Approx. 48”x48”
Everyone that has donated for this COMPASSION fundraiser is welcome to attend the exhibit on July 26th. We will open the art gallery exclusively to you an hour prior to the show for a special meet and greet with the artists.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Isaias Crow grew up in El Paso, Texas and lives in San Diego with his partner Irene and two children, Galaxy and Magia. His graffiti inspired artwork and murals can be seen in Chicano Park, Barrio Logan, areas of San Diego and throughout the US and parts of the world. For more info on his work visit his website. Desde la Logan columnist Brent E. Beltrán wrote about Isaias Crow here.