About the Artist:
Brad’s work as an artist focuses on culture, history, and the human condition as it relates to life.
Redlined Donor, 2021
Acrylic, mixed media on canvas
The conceptual inspiration of his piece is rooted on the idea that African Americans are often marginalized and identified by place of birth or residence. These 'identity markers' based upon location also imply ethnicity and economic status that may determine access or the lack thereof to healthy food options, medical resources, and proper health education. Many people of economically challenged circumstances are typically misinformed and 'birthmarked' based upon the area in which they reside. This is usually indicated by zip code and results of systematical ‘redlining'. The image depicts a map of the racially segregated areas of Milwaukee serving as a backdrop and also as a 'birthmark' upon the figure, suggesting they are only identified by where they live and not who they are.
Facebook: www.bradanthonybernardart (Bernard Art Studio)
About the Artist:
Kierston Ghaznavi was born in West Helena, Arkansas and raised in Milwaukee WI. She received her BFA in Graphic Design at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2012. Though traditional drawing is her first love, Kierston works mainly with pen, ink and markers, recently creating multimedia works. Kierston's subject matter focuses on black pop culture, afro centric natural hair, identity, mental health and simply black women exploring self-love.
A Gift Eternal, 2021
Marker and pen on cardstock
The Artist’s Organ Donation Story:
I believe that everyone is born with a destiny, and once it is fulfilled, our time here on earth comes to an end. There is no specific timeline and that’s why I think my daughter Amaya Elise touched our lives for only 6 weeks.
Amaya’s story began before she was even born. In June of 2006 I suffered a late term miscarriage due to an incompetent cervix. This means that as the baby got bigger, my cervix grew weaker and could not continue to stay shut. It was a very devastating experience. A few months later we conceived Amaya. Determined to carry her to full term, I went on bed rest in the hospital from February 2007 to May 2007. I went home on bed rest until Amaya was born on Father’s Day, June 17, 2007. At the beginning of the pregnancy we tried everything to keep her from coming too soon, but at 39 weeks, labor had to be induced because she was so big and didn’t want to come out! After 19 hours of labor and 4 hours of pushing, Amaya Elise was born. She was a whopping 8 pounds and 15 ounces.
The next six weeks were wonderful. She was a very good baby girl. She was very smart, and on time with all of her developmental milestones. The last one I practiced with her was smiling at 5 weeks. I sang a silly song to her, and she looked into my eyes and smiled. That was the beginning of our last week together.
The morning that Amaya turned 6 weeks she was cranky and wouldn’t eat, I assumed it was colic, a phase that babies go through from 6 weeks to 3 months where they are irritable and cranky. I went to work as usual and got a call that something wasn’t right, Amaya was straining to keep her eyes open and would not eat. We went to the emergency room where Amaya almost immediately became unresponsive. Her temperature was very high. She was put on a ventilator and taken to Children’s hospital. The next four days were numbing. It seemed very strange and untrue, everything that was happening around us. I can remember the first night there, I heard a baby cry out and I said, “That’s Amaya!”. But, It wasn’t. I never heard Amaya cry again.
When it became obvious that Amaya would not make it, some very nice people came to talk to us about organ donation. Immediately, I agreed. Those days that we spent in the hospital, we realized that we won’t be able to take Amaya to the zoo, and she won’t be able to play with her twin cousins. We knew that death was the end of the hopes and dreams and memories that we had yet to create with her. When Sarah and Tony from the Wisconsin Donor Network, explained the gift that Amaya would be able to give, I knew that a mother somewhere was waiting in the intensive care unit of a hospital watching her baby become more and more sick and that organ donation was the right thing to do.
Amaya died August 1, 2007 from Group B Strep Meningitis, which caused brain edema (Swelling). She was able to donate her liver, pancreas and intestines to a baby boy who was 9 months old at the time. Her lungs were too tiny to donate, and her heart was donated for research. Everyone has a destiny to fulfill. Sometimes I wonder why my only child only lived for 6 weeks, but I know that her gift of life means that a part of her lives on. That makes me smile every day.
About the Artist:
Jerry Jordan is a painter working in the style of contemporary realism. He counts the unsung artist of the Harlem Renaissance as his artistic role models. He has also been heavily influenced by such artists as John S. Sargent, William M. Chase and Joaquin Sorolla just to name a few. Jerry is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a B.A. in Art, as well as an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Art Education.
Sharing Hope, 2021
Oil on canvas
Jerry’s painting Sharing Hope is about centering the humans among us who are willing to share a piece of themselves and their humanity with those in need of hope. As a Brother of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Jerry was excited to contribute to the meaningful and vital messaging behind LifeLine: The Ultimate Bond.
About the Artist:
Rosy Petri is a self-taught artist working primarily in fabric, audio, and printmaking. In 2020, she was selected as a Mildred L Harpole Artist of the Year and a Mary Nohl Emerging Artist Fellow. In 2019, she was the Pfister Hotel’s 11th Artist in Residence. Rosy lives in the Harambee neighborhood of Milwaukee, WI.
Thoughts and Prayers, 2020
Fabric and stitch
Thoughts and Prayers is a raw-edge appliqué series taking into consideration the impact of collective energy. This phrase has become a hollow expression of sympathy with little to no follow-through. With this series, Rosy offers a visual representation of the potential power of a community’s thoughts and prayers. When she hears these words, she envisions them as the first steps in a larger plan of action and imagines a world where thoughts and prayers proceed compassionate acts that build and sustain beloved community.
Facebook: Paradise Home
About the Artist:
Inspired by nostalgic memories of afternoons after school talking, drawing and painting with his grandmother , Sherman graduated with a B.F.A. from Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2009 and is an active member of Milwaukee’s artist community.
What a Miracle, 2021
Sherman believes that contributing to the well-being of humanity is a duty that all human beings share in responsibility and feels that organ donation is one way that nearly everyone can participate in making the world a better place, even in death. When reading the statistic that donating your corneas after death could restore sight for up to two people he thought, “what a miracle.” He was inspired to learn how useful we can be after we’ve stopped breathing and intends for this work to explore the relationship between the colors we see and the eyes we view them through.
About the Artist:
Terrance Sims serves as a Milwaukee-based photographer and videographer capturing the resilience and brilliance of Milwaukee youth. His projects have received national recognition from the likes of Good Morning America, Time magazine, and CNN as well as recognition from the likes of Michelle Obama, Shaquille O’Neal, Kamala Harris, and many more. Prior to becoming a photographer, Terrance served as a K-8 math teacher at Milwaukee College Prep. It was there when he realized the power of combining digital arts with the brilliance of his students to inspire kids around the country.
About the Artist:
Allison Ssali is a young emerging artist who creates art with deep meaning. She aims for the viewer to form their own opinion and to show that there can be no wrong answers.
Acrylic, clay and plastic on canvas
Per Connexionem Epidermis (Connection via Epidermis), 2021
Acrylic on canvas
For people with diabetes, their body produces either too much or too little insulin and the body cannot filter it well, so they may need a pancreas donation. There are various assorted sweets in this painting such as a lollipops, cookies and the little butterscotch candies you would find in your Grandma's purse, all of which people with a poorly working pancreas can't have because they're too high in sugar. I hope that this exhibition, and specifically this painting, will help people have more awareness of what a pancreas does and how it is connected to what we eat and drink.
Recipients of skin donations are often burn or acid victims and going back to their natural cosmetic appearance is really important to them. Because of the severity these types of injuries, often times people’s body cannot regenerate skin on their own so they need a helping hand in terms of skin donation. People who are willing to donate their skin can help reconstruct facial features, limbs and appendages. Connection Via Epidemis represents the action of the doctors stitching the donor skin and recipient skin together. Over time the new skin regenerates and slowly spreads out, molding onto the recipient’s body entirely. It’s wonderful that technology has advanced to the point where we can look for a matching skin donor and perform this procedure. . . That's the helping hand.
About the Artist:
Allison Alexander Westbrook IV is a multimedia digital artist that also works within traditional media.
This piece is based on the lungs and the idea of breathing as an exchange from the inner to the outer, thus the title of Exchange. Allison lived with asthma since he was a child, where it inhibited his athletic ambitions. He states that he ignorantly assumed that everyone got short of breath when exerting oneself and that he just didn’t “have what it took”. He didn’t realize until he was an adult that he had a serious condition and that it was not an uncommon thing for urban black children to have asthma. Two things inspired him as the germ idea for this piece, one was the concept of the pneuma, the Ancient Greek word for breath, which was synonymous with the soul or spirit. He also had the “I Can’t Breathe’ slogan from the George Floyd protests in his head as he worked. Allison states “ Nothing else matters if you can’t breathe”.
Community Outreach Manager at Versiti BloodCenter of Wisconsin… with 20 years of marketing communications experience, Tonnie blends public relations and more than five years in organ procurement to honor the generosity of organ donors and deliver unique educational opportunities across Southeastern Wisconsin.
Tonnie builds outreach programs, manages budgets, organizes people and events – but what she relishes most, is being a catalyst for collaborative work and bridge-builder for the betterment of the people she serves. She leads a team driven with passion for community. Together, they create awareness through strategic engagement and advocacy among underrepresented populations. Wherever the door is open -faith community, government, schools, media, or among the broader masses- they extend the life-saving gift of organ and tissue donation.
Beyond Versiti, Tonnie earned her Master of Arts in organizational development at Alverno College and her Bachelor of Administration in business marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is passionate about her work in the church, on various committees, and with several non-profits. She is a dedicated member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. And, Tonnie is fiercely devoted to her family as a loving wife and mother of twin boys.
Born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Danielle L. Paswaters spent the majority of her formative years just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. Her multifaceted upbringing informs her career in the curation of modern and contemporary art through the lens of social justice and equality. Danielle is an art museum and gallery professional with over 13 years of academic, curatorial, and administrative experience. She holds a B.A. in Art History with a Business minor and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Art History with a focus on DEI in Museum Studies at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Trained as an entrepreneur, a paralegal and an art historian, she is currently the Curator for Milwaukee Artist Resource Network’s (MARN) annual Mentor/Mentee exhibitions and was Gallery Manager and Curator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Union Art Gallery for the past three years.
Danielle believes that museums, galleries, and community art spaces have the power to be agents of change. Her curatorial choices embrace the idea that by blurring the divide between highbrow and lowbrow art we allow for a wider reach into our communities, which helps to create a greater sense of equality that can then translate into more productive and empowering societies. You can read more about Danielle’s exhibitions and research on her website at DaniellePaswaters.com.
For nearly 20 years, Ebony Ssali has led creative for companies and organizations, and is founder of Ssali Media Group, a branding, marketing and media consultancy headquartered in Wisconsin. Ssali is a national guest lecturer on topics of branding, diversity in communications, and innovation as brand strategy.
Her role in LifeLine: The Ultimate Bond Art Exhibition includes exhibition naming, branding and art direction. In collaboration with Versiti's internal communications team, Ssali directed social media & online presence development.
She is dedicated to the purpose-powered work of delivering inspiring creative services through healthcare, education and community outreach.