Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and from the comfort of your living room couch (or take a break from your hectic day at the office) and start exploring our virtual streets filled with fine art and photography from around the world!
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: June has arrived and summer officially begins in just a few weeks! Baseball games, Father's Day, Art Festivals and Lemonade Stands are popping up all over the place! Do you have a favorite summer tradition that is an absolute 'must do' each year? Let us know so we can highlight it in an upcoming issue. I always enjoy a good glass of lemonade and helping out with the (ALSF) Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation is one of my 'must do" activities.
The ARt diSTriCt continues to grow and the virtual streets are ever expanding. It remains a hub of activity for its members to connect with art lovers from around the world. The mission here at the magazine is simple: To share with you "the Art Lover" some one-on-one interviews, showcase artists, keep you informed on events, news, promotions and CELEBRATE the creative arts! This month we spotlight photographer Jim Fitzpatrick from the San Francisco Bay Area who states, "... that's one reason I like to draw, It's my way of relaxing." So grab your lemonade, take a deep breath, exhale, relax and let's start creating!
ALEX'S LEMONADE DAYS is an annual event sponsored by (ALSF} Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. Thousands of supporters around the country host a lemonade stand event to raise money for childhood cancer research. Participation from individuals, families, businesses, and childhood cancer hero families make this a special time to take a stand (a lemonade stand!) against childhood cancer. According to the organizations website their founder Alexandra “Alex” Scott held her first front yard lemonade stand when she was just 4 years old and gave them their mission: to find cures for all children battling cancer.
I first heard about this organization when I moved to Kansas City in 2014 and received my second cancer diagnosis. I was searching the the internet for cancer support in Kansas City and read about a fundraiser that the Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon sponsored each year - "Alex's Lemonade Stand". I immediately made a donation! Then I won a chance to meet Alex Gordon (see image on left) the weekend before my surgery and I was hooked! I even got my Alex Gordon Bobble head signed and then had a delicious and cold fresh squeezed lemonade!
Alex's Lemonade Stands make a meaningful difference at any time of the year, but there's a special excitement to Alex's Lemonade Days, when supporters join forces and hold stands simultaneously to be a part of one large annual fundraiser. In the spirit of their founder, 8-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Scott’s ambitious goal to raise $1 million, which she reached before she passed away in 2004, Lemonade Days consistently raises $1 million annually. To date, they have had over 24,000 stands and raised over $13 million during Lemonade Days!
ALSF has what they call Hero Ambassadors. These families have been personally affected by childhood cancer and help spread awareness about the ongoing childhood cancer fight by sharing their personal journeys. ALSF and the National Lemonade Days Hero Ambassadors invite you take a “stand” against childhood cancer during Alex’s Lemonade Days. ALSF Facebook album of photos!
SO MAKE SURE AND VISIT AN ALEX’S LEMONADE DAYS STAND NEAR YOU OR YOU CAN ALWAYS VISIT "Pamela Makes Lemonade with Alex" and make an online donation. If you do, make sure and stop at your local grocer tomorrow and pick up a few juicy yellow lemons, add a little sugar & water then take a big gulp. Make a Stand!
What's your story? Please introduce yourself
I'm a self taught artist and photographer who was selected by Art Tour International as one of the Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art for 2014, 2015 and 2016. In late September of 2016 I was selected as a Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art for 2017. In late 2016 I was selected by Art Tour International as one of their Top 20 Fine Art Photographers for 2017! Over the years I've had a wide variety of jobs and experiences. Shortly after high school, while attending SF State in 1978, I became a photographer for the professional wrestling promotion which regularly held events at the Cow Palace. Soon after I started training for one of my passions - professional Roller Derby. I was originally hired in 1978 to work on the track crew which set up the large, portable banked track they skated on. In 1980, I became a professional skater for the World Champion San Francisco Bay Bombers and skated in some amazing places like the Cow Palace and as far away as Buenos Aires, Argentina and Tokyo Japan. During my skating days I also worked part time as a fitness instructor and for a house painter. I became certified in shiatsu massage after shoulder injuries ended my skating career. Still wanting to be involved with Roller Derby I became a referee. In 1987 I performed Roller Derby stunt skating in an MTV music video for McAuley Schenker Group for the song, 'Love Is Not A Game'.
I then went to work for Dakin, Inc., a famous toy company, in their mailroom. Later advancing into their traffic department where I held two different positions over the next couple of years. I then became a police clerk and later a police service technician. Then I became a fire inspector and was also a reserve cop for a short while. Later, when the inspector job was eliminated due to budget cuts I became a fire fighter. For a while I was the Acting Deputy Fire Marshal. Over the years I've performed magic and entered several stage competitions and my son and I took 2nd place one year. I also performed a number of pay jobs as a clown magician, a serious magician, a strolling magician and a magical Santa Claus.
After getting hurt at work during a fire I went through years of physical therapy and treatments to become more mobile. Not just one thing helped me by itself but a combination of working out, watching my posture and diet, Myofascial Release treatments, Prolotherapy Injections and staying active helped give me a life again! I've been interviewed about it on TV and in newspaper articles. I hope I can inspire others who live with chronic pain to not give up!
In recent years I helped bring old school, pro Roller Derby and my old team, the SF Bay Bombers back. Currently I'm the team's coach and GM, one of our league's trainers, the Northern California Rep and also one of the executive producers for our TV shows. I guess that's one reason why I like to draw when I get a chance. It's my way of relaxing. I've also published 3 photo books. My first, 'Roller Derby Classics...and more!' deals with the history of the sport and also my involvement in it. My second book was a children's book, 'I Have a Chin! A Japanese Chin' about our family's pet dog. My third book was 'When I Shot Good and Bad Guys (who wrestled at the Cow Palace'. It contains some photos I took during that brief period of time I worked for the wrestling promotion.
In 2011 I met NFL Hall Of Fame legend Dick Butkus and got on board with the Butkus Foundation's 'I Play Clean' campaign to end steroid abuse among young athletes. For more info and to take the 'I Play Clean' pledge visit www.iplayclean.org I've held two art exhibitions so far. One was held in 2011 at the LC Gallery located in the Westfield Mall in downtown San Francisco. One of my works on display that day was of Senator Leland Yee. Senator Yee made an appearance during my exhibiton.
In March of 2012 I held my second at Man Cave Memorabilia in San Mateo, CA. For that exhibition I displayed some of my works of famed boxer Mike Tyson. The timing couldn't have been any better since he was on hand making a special appearance. My family and I were granted a private meeting with him at which time I presented him with a pastel drawing I had done of him and his family.
In March of 2013 I was one of several artists featured in the ebook 'Best of Activism in Art - I' by Sarah S. Vati. On June 10th National Geographic editors published one of my photos as 'our favorite photos' in their Daily Dozen Share! I was selected by Art Tour International Magazine and featured in their 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions of their ATIM'S TOP 60 MASTERS OF CONTEMPORARY ART!
In early 2015 I was interviewed by Viviana Puello of Art Tour International Magazine, via Italy, for a 'Art 2 Heart' video episode and I was also included in Art Tour International's most recent advertisement campaign! On April 30, 2016 I made my debut in Gold Rush Pro Wrestling as Mr. Goldsworth the butler for pro wrestler Alexander G. Bernard! On September of 2016 some of my old pro wrestling Super 8mm footage I had shot at the Cow Palace during Roy Shire's Big Time Wrestling shows in the late '70's was published (with credits) in a WWE video, 'I Did It My Way: The Pat Patterson Story' (WWE Hall of Famer)!
In November of 2016 some of my wrestling photos, taken back in the late 1970's at the famed Cow Palace, along with an interview with me are included in Rock Rims' book 'When It Was Big Time: A One Hundred Year History Of Northern California Professional Wrestling'. In September of 2016 I was chosen by Art Tour International as on the their ATIM's Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art for 2017! In late 2016 I was selected by Art Tour International Magazine and featured in their ATIM'S TOP 20 MASTERS OF FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY 2017! Then in March of 2017 Viviana Puello and Yadira Roman of ATIM came to my house to present me with a special award for being selected for their magazine and Viviana then interviewed me for a live Facebook stream in their 'Get to Know the Artist' series.
What does "being creative" mean to you?
Creating something you can share with others that hopefully they will enjoy and or inspire.
What’s your main artistic medium? *
My main medium is drawing (primarily portraits) which often consists of mixed media mediums where I combine color pencils, pastels and charcoal.
Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
When I was a small boy. I loved to try and draw portraits and make them look as real as possible.
What inspires you?
Life and what catches my interest at the moment.
Do you have a specialty?
Portrait drawings and portrait photography.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
It depends on the work. Some are to make people laugh, some are to make people think, some are to touch people emotionally and some to show something (an animal for example) that they may have never seen or heard of before.
Color pencils, pastels, charcoal, Nikon digital camera, Photoshop...
What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever created?
Digitally enhanced portraits of people and animals. Also combining my portrait drawings with photos I've taken to create scenes.
What advice do you have for budding artists and photographers?
Experiment and go with what you enjoy. Don't limit yourself because others tell you to. Try and stay positive and focused on what you are doing and avoid negative people and their comments.
What is #1 on your Bucket List?
In life it's to become more mobile and decrease the pain issues I am faced with. For art it's to keep improving and hopefully my art work will inspire others and my story of copying with chronic pain will also inspire others coping with it as well. I've drawn a lot of portraits of Lucy Liu who is also an artist besides being a famous actress. She's involved in UNICEF. I'd love to meet her one day and not only show her some of my artwork but hopefully do something with her and our art to help UNICEF. I've tried reaching out to them in the past regarding it but with no luck yet. Or... one day meet and do a photo shoot with Koko the gorilla who knows sign language. I'd love to see Koko's reaction to my animal photos, particularly the ones I've done of other gorillas!
Click on the following links or above images to to learn more about Jim Fitzpatrick and visit his work!