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Members from the Hospital Attend 26th Annual Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Scientific Meeting

This week, members from our Center for Excellence in Limb Lengthening are attending the 26th Annual Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society (LLRS) Scientific Meeting in Park City, Utah. This organization brings together medical professionals from around the country to discuss the latest research and techniques for the treatment of limb reconstruction, limb lengthening, extremity deformity correction and complex fracture treatment.

Scottish Rite Hospital has several medical staff and researchers who are members of this group, including orthopedic medical staff John Birch, M.D., Lori Karol, M.D., Karl Rathjen, M.D., David Podeszwa, M.D., and Lane Wimberly, M.D. Additionally, researchers Marina Makarov, M.D.*, Alex Cherkashin, M.D., and Mikhail Samchukov, M.D., contribute to the success of LLRS. Assistant Chief of Staff, Karl Rathjen, M.D., has served as this year’s president of the organization. Rathjen is leading the two-day meeting while several of the hospitals’ doctors, researchers and past fellows are making presentations.

This year, our staff has been selected to present on the latest research conducted in the Center for Excellence in Limb Lengthening. “The LLRS annual meeting is a great opportunity to showcase our research to specialists in this field from around the world,” says Rathjen. “Scottish Rite Hospital has become well-known for our work with this patient population and we are honored to be able to share our knowledge.”

The Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society allows our staff to collaborate with fellow medical professionals to continue learning the latest techniques and treatments for these patients. Scottish Rite Hospital is dedicated to conducting ongoing research in this area not only to provide the best care possible to patients at our institution, but also to children everywhere.

* Medical Degree from Omsk Medical School, Russia
† Medical Degree from Novosibirsk State Medical School, Russia
‡ Medical Degree from Khabarovsk State Medical School, Russia

Get to Know our SRH Staff: Kristen Odom, Nursing

Kristen has been working at the hospital as a RN since 2005. She has an unique connection to Scottish Rite Hospital because she was a patient here when she was 13 years old. Learn more about her below.

What’s your favorite thing about the hospital?

  • Helping all my sweet patients
  • The popcorn
  • The view from my desk
  • My flexible schedule
  • The nurses and doctors I work with
  • …..I could go on and on…

Describe a typical day:

Working in clinic with the Orange team, seeing orthopedic and perthes patients. I also assist other services doing dental sedations and rheumatology IV infusions.

How long have you worked here?

Started as a nurse extern in 2004, worked here as a RN since 2005

How did you find out about the hospital?

My family and I were first told about Scottish Rite Hospital when I was diagnosed with scoliosis at 13.

Kristen 4

What made you want to work here?

While I was a patient, I discovered I wanted to do something with my life that would allow me to help the kids here. After my spinal surgery in 2000, I realized that I wanted to become a nurse and work alongside the nurses here that were so great to me.

What skills do you need for your job?

Patience and compassion. My nursing degree is helpful too 😉

What was your first job? What path did you take to get here?

My very first job was a cashier at Brookshires, I worked there during high school, after starting college I volunteered at SRH while completing my nursing degree at Texas Christian University.

Kristen 1

What is your favorite…

Hospital event: Farm and Ranch Day

Food in the cafeteria: Fried Zucchini

Place in the hospital: popcorn desk

What’s your favorite…

Place to travel: The Beach

Type of food: Tex-Mex

TV show: I rarely watch TV, but enjoy snuggling with my kids while they watch it.

Kim Billman, Harry Kim, Kristen Odom

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

To read minds- I am always curious to what others are thinking.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A nurse or marine biologist

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Marry a cop and start a family :) Every day is an adventure in itself!

What kind of animal would you be?

Anything that has wings and can fly

What is something people don’t know about you?

I have known my husband since we were 8 years old

 

Summer Colors Art Auction: Meet the 2017 Artists, Part IV

Summer Colors, now in its ninth year, was an idea born out of passion for both art and the patients of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Founded in 2009 by Jenny and Loren Koziol and Jill and Dupree Scovell, this silent art auction raises awareness about the hospital, while also exposing the Dallas community to up and coming local artists.

Each year, local artists donate original pieces of art to be featured in the auction, with all the proceeds benefiting Scottish Rite Hospital. Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to all of the artists.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday, July 27, at Scottish Rite Hospital. Additional information can be found at community.tsrhc.org/summer-colors.

Meet our last round of artists below! Please note: all photos of the art are shown as examples of their work. 

MARILYN VICENTE

Inspiration, In her own words: My inspiration is nature. Nature holds a beauty and sends a powerful message. Nature brings out the joys, sorrows and sadness inside of us. While gifting us with lush trees, animals, wildlife, flowers and a variety of insects. All of these gifts from nature are all both delicate and intricate which holds a beauty of all its art.

 

MADISON SLUSHER

Background: Jewelry designer since 2006 and newly developed abstract painter

Inspiration: My inspiration is knowing that someone will treasure my art as much as I do and bring them joy!

 

 

 

 

BRITTNEY WELLS

Background: I have been painting and drawing since I was 5 years old. I am a former patient of TSRH. I received my BFA in graphic design from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2010. I will paint or draw on anything that will hold paint. The world is my canvas, from walls (murals) to shoes to printing t-shirts to paint on making my own canvases; I’m blessed to say I do it all!

Inspiration: I get my inspiration from everyday life and sometimes even my dreams. Most times I’ll let my imagination run wild on a canvas.

CHRISTOPHER J. MILLER

While many artists take their craft from traditional to digital, CJ Miller’s artistic journey has been quite the opposite.  CJ Miller, the nom de guerre of Christopher J. Miller, founded the marketing communications firm Rainmaker Advertising more than 20 years ago.  His initial artistic training is rooted in computer graphics, marketing and visual communication but in 2000 he decided to explore traditional fine arts.

This journey began with several years tutoring/training with Mary Kathryn Collins, a Dallas artist and instructor who supported Mr. Miller in uncovering his unique artistic identity – sort of like uncovering your artistic thumbprint.  For the last six years, he’s taken annual sabbaticals to train with Virginia Cobb in her Santa Fe, New Mexico, artist workshop.  Ms. Cobb is known for her unique technique, detailed in her book, “Uncovering the Hidden Eye: Experiments in Water Media,” which is a result of years of teaching experimental workshops.  She believes that every painting is an experiment, a philosophy Mr. Miller has embraced as a way to gain a deeper, more personal perception of the physical world.

Mr. Miller continues to explore methods of utilizing different tools and materials.  He has experimented with mixed-media, graphite, chalk and crayon, and matte finished acrylics on canvas, wood and Strathmore 500 Bristol Board.  He believes that painting is a spiritual expression which reflects his current vibration and belief systems. 

LAURA RUNGE

I am a Texas native and earned a BA in Journalism from Baylor University. After many years in the corporate world, I took the leap of faith to pursue my lifelong passion as a self-taught artist. I am now a full time, working artist and dedicate my days to painting and searching for creative avenues in everything I do.

Inspiration: My passions are creating and inspiring, and I wake up each day in hopes of combining the two in every endeavor. I paint in acrylics, often combining stains and metallic leafs and powders into my pieces. I am drawn to objects that reflect movement, and this is incorporated into my works. Finding beauty in unusual objects and places, I use unconventional tools and techniques to create imaginative, one-of-a-kind works of art. My goal is to create a painting for the buyer that will add flair and a special dimension to the space where it will reside.

HELEN GREEN

Helen Green’s work was described by a local Dallas store as “simplistic beauty with light and airy colors that will add a touch of summer to any room”. Raised in Boerne, Texas under her mom’s easel, Helen has developed her graceful style, which has caught the attention of area stores, cafes and followers on Facebook site called GraceFilledNestTumblr.com

Her education began at the University of Texas but chose to graduate at the Art Institute of Dallas. She left the stressful corporate world environment after beginning her career in a high-end specialty store in the visual communications department and ending as a senior art director for a national retailer. Now she finds true joy and peace as a stay at home mom with her precious 6-year-old daughter where she takes time to paint in her studio.

She also has mini art camps from home to encourage children to find joy in painting during a 2 hour sessions. Each with devotion, inspiration and snacks. They leave with their painted canvases and a smile! Facebook site called “Grace Filled Nest Mini Art Camps”

Sweetly rooted in her faith, Helen is moved daily by the beauty that she sees in the world through the eyes of the LORD. It’s amazing the following that she is blessed with in like-minded people and others that recognize a still small voice in her work.

KRISTIN O’KEEFE

B.A. in art from Hastings College in Hastings, NE. I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Inspired by ordinary moments, rainy days, and quietness.

JENNY GRUMBLES KOZIOL

Dallas entrepreneur, Jenny Grumbles, obtained her degree in journalism and studio art from Southern Methodist University in 2002. Her work-life is threefold; artist, shop-owner, and buyer for A&E’s hit series, Storage Wars Texas. Jenny’s paintings have been sold in galleries and shops throughout Georgia, Texas, and California. She is the proprietor to her very own vintage home furnishings shop, Uptown Country Home.

Since realizing her passion in painting in 1994, she has created an impressionist style with loose brush strokes and an emphasis on light and color. There is never black on her palette. Her subject matter includes everything from children on the beach, home interiors, florals, and commissioned work. Jenny attributes much of her success to her mentor, the renowned Claudia Hartley of Arizona, and to gallery owner, Anne Irwin, of Atlanta.

Jenny also spends much of her time searching for treasures to recycle, repurpose, and repaint for sale in her shop.

In addition to her shop and artwork, Jenny has a passion for politics and major league baseball.

Jenny’s main aspiration is to make the world a better place through political advocacy, creative art and home decor, because she truly believes, whether it’s the whole world, or a little cottage in Dallas, home is where the heart is. 

HEATHER GALLAGHER

In her own words: I am a mom of three beautiful children, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a friend to many. I have lived in Texas my whole life and North Texas for most of that. I work for locally based non-profit ambulance service Careflite. I am a paramedic and enjoy taking care of my patients and their families. I paint as a hobby. I never really considered myself and artist, but I truly enjoy creating art, so I guess that makes me one.

Inspiration: I love seeing what colors work together, and never really know what is going to end up on the canvas. I love abstract art, as it can mean many different things to many different people. I love blues and greens, and fluid movement. I take inspiration from my children’s drawings and paintings that they make because they are truly random and beautiful.

MATT ESPARZA

Esparza_SummerColors17_finalMatt Esparza is a Dallas based visual artist, film maker and photographer. As a graduate of Oral Roberts University (ORU), in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Matt obtained a degree in Art Graphic Design, with a concentration in Video. He was also a key player on the ORU Men’s Soccer team, and went on to train with professional clubs in Brazil. As a gifted artist, Matt has displayed and sold works across the United States, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Tulsa, New York and Los Angeles. After living in L.A. for a year, and apprenticing under highly respected artist, Andy Anh Ha, Matt relocated to Dallas in 2012 to establish his studio.Matt is continually getting inspiration from the world around him, drawing equally from urban and rural textures, international travels, and famous artists. The artists who have most influenced him include: Jackson Pollock, Jean- Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Georges Mathieu and Franz Kline. His main source of inspiration,however, is his faith in God, and the effect that has had on his life. Matt is a highly travelled individual and has visited over 18 countries in the past 10 years. He has recently returned from an 8 month sabbatical in which he lived and travelled around the world and visited 12 different countries including, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Uganda, Vietnam, Myanmar, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Costa Rica and Mexico. Esparza’s preferred medium is a variety of acrylic and oils, on board, with regular use of polymers, spray paints, stains, epoxy resin and sheet metal.

When Esparza is not painting or traveling the world filming, he is busy volunteering at his church, enjoying local eats, working out, dancing or enjoying the outdoors.

The Power of Play: Transforming Lives Through Therapeutic Recreation

By Ruth Ann Hensley 

What does performing a piano concerto, rock climbing and making new friends have to do with learning to play golf? It turns out, more than you might imagine.

Discovering a new recreational pursuit was a turning point for 12-year-old Jasmine, who receives care at Scottish Rite Hospital for juvenile idiopathic arthritis. When Jasmine participated in the hospital’s Learn to Golf program six years ago, she was introduced to more than a pastime. She discovered self-confidence and a willingness to try new things. Benefits such as these reflect the transformative influence of the Therapeutic Recreation department’s programs and the hospital’s whole-child approach to care. Jasmine can take both the golf and the personal growth lessons with her wherever she goes and wherever her dreams take her — and that is the power of play.

Mackenzi Summers, Dana Dempsey, Allena Aussicker

Mackenzi Summers, Dana Dempsey, Allena Aussicker

“We instill self-worth and make sure our patients know they are valued and that they have a voice,” explains Allena Aussicker, a hospital certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS). “We’re working on a patient’s functional skills but we’re also promoting self-respect and respect of others.”

The Therapeutic Recreation program was established 20 years ago at Scottish Rite Hospital — one of the first children’s hospitals in North Texas to provide the service. The program’s director, Dana Dempsey, M.S., CTRS, has been a leader and advocate in the field, representing the hospital at the community, state and national level.

“The whole point of therapeutic recreation is to help a child gain the skills and knowledge they need to be as independent as possible by actively engaging in meaningful play, recreation and leisure,” Dempsey says.

These activities can reap long-term physical, emotional and mental benefits for participants. For example, patients engaged in basketball don’t realize they are also improving their hand-eye coordination, motor skills and teamwork etiquette.

“That’s why they call us the sneaky therapists,” Aussicker says with a laugh.

Those unconscious lessons run deep. “The patients learn things like resilience, social skills and problem- solving, so that they’re successful in all kinds of situations,” Dempsey says. “They also learn what they like, what they value and what’s important to them.”

That is why offering such a program is important to the hospital. “Not all of our patients need therapeutic recreation but for those who do, it’s a critical element in our whole-child treatment approach,” says Daniel J. Sucato, M.D., M.S., Scottish Rite Hospital chief of staff. “The social and emotional development our patients experience from this service can be transforming.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 3.51.34 PMThe Therapeutic Recreation department provides these transformative experiences in three primary ways. First, the team provides children with engaging activities and games during their hospital stay. Second, they provide leisure education to children during clinic visits, at the request of a hospital physician or caregiver. For example, a CTRS may provide a patient with a listing of recreational activities in their neighborhood or a resource for adaptive cycles.

And finally, the team conducts community outreach programs. The components include Summer All
Stars, which introduces patients to numerous adaptive activities, and Chance to Dance, which encourages self- expression and movement through dance. The hospital founded these unique programs, which are generously underwritten or sponsored by hospital donors.

The hospital’s most well-known outreach program is Learn to Golf, which was established in 1998. It is the program from which Jasmine and many other patients have benefited. In the early days of the golf clinics, hospital friend and then executive committee member of the United States Golf Association (USGA), Win Padgett, made the hospital aware of grant funding available from the association.

The hospital qualified for funding and the USGA’s support of Learn to Golf has been a key factor in its success.

“It’s been regarded as one of the premier golf programs for children with disabilities,” Dempsey says. Inspired by the National Amputee Golf Association’s First Swing program, Dempsey tailored the adaptive golf lessons to children. Since then, it has become a model for hospitals throughout the country.

The Therapeutic Recreation team also helps facilitate specialized recreational camps. Jasmine attended one tailored to patients with arthritis called Camp Joint Adventure, held at Camp John Marc. The camps are designed to challenge and stimulate children in a safe environment by introducing them to new activities, team-building exercises and opportunities to socialize with peers.

“Before I came to camp, I was kind of in a shell,” Jasmine explains. “But at camp I learned how to come out of that shell and I learned self-confidence.”

Dempsey has made a special impression on Jasmine, who refers to the program director as her hero. “She cares for everybody and takes time to get to know them,” Jasmine says. “That means a lot.”

The Therapeutic Recreation team takes a personal interest in pairing children with something they enjoy doing. It also provides a well-rounded complement to the hospital’s whole-child care approach.

“Patients can get wrapped up in the medical aspect of their treatment,” says hospital CTRS Mackenzi Summers. “But every child should have the opportunity for play, just as they would if they weren’t at a hospital.”

Many times, patients who seem reluctant to participate in recreational pursuits are often hiding self-conscious concerns about their physical challenges.

“We want the kids to understand that having a disability doesn’t mean they can’t be involved in something, they just might need to do it differently,” Aussicker says. “Sometimes it makes me wonder where these kids would be without our services. Would they feel they just belonged on the sidelines?”

Thanks in a large part to the Therapeutic Recreation department’s transformative programs, the sideline is the last place you’ll find Jasmine. She recently won a top award at a state-level piano competition. She also plays the violin and participates in orchestra and choir.

“After her experience at the hospital, Jasmine believes she can do anything she sets her mind to,” Jasmine’s father, Andrew says. “They take a genuine interest in her, not just medically — in her life.”

On a scale of one to 10, Andrew says he would give the hospital a 12. It appears his talented, straight-A student daughter shares that opinion.

“Some people think I’m crazy for looking forward to going to a hospital,” Jasmine says of her visits to Scottish Rite Hospital. “But I think it’s fun!”

Scottish Rite Hospital Attends the 24th International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST)

Doctors from Scottish Rite Hospital are in Cape Town, South Africa attending the 24th International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST), an annual conference sponsored by the Scoliosis Research Society. This three-day international meeting brings together spine surgeons and other medical professionals from around the globe to discuss leading-edge spine research. IMAST allows attendees to discuss and debate the latest spine techniques to ultimately improve patient care.

This year, Scottish Rite Hospital’s Chief of Staff Dan Sucato, M.D., M.S., has been selected to present on the spine team’s most recent work in neuromonitoring for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).This project, “Neuromonitoring for AIS: A 20-year Analysis of AIS Patient Incidence of Critical Changes and Predictive Factors to Define Patients at Risk,” reviews a single institution’s experience of neuromonitoring in spinal deformity surgery in a series of adolescent patients with idiopathic scoliosis in order to describe predictive factors for intraoperative neurologic injury. Authored by Dan Sucato, M.D., M.S., Kiley Poppino, B.S., Alex Thoveson, B.S., Ali Parsa, M.D., Steven Sparagana, M.D., and Patricia Rampy, M.S., C.N.I.M., the presentation is one of the top scoring abstracts at the conference.

The various conferences the hospital attends allow our doctors and researchers to not only share their knowledge, but also learn from fellow medical professionals across the world. “It is a privilege and an honor to be selected to present our research on an international stage,” says Sucato. “Although it brings light to the innovative work we conduct, it is more fulfilling to know that we are bringing better care and treatment to our patients and other children globally.”

Former Patient-Turned-Genie Makes Wishes Come True on Broadway

The way Major Attaway describes playing Genie in the Broadway musical “Aladdin” makes you want to burst into a classic Disney song.

Aladdin Blog“My favorite moment is the song ‘Friend Like Me,’ because from start to finish you have people of all ages mouthing the lyrics. Sometimes I can’t tell if the parents or children are more excited,” says the former Scottish Rite Hospital patient, age 29.

Attaway grew up in Fort Worth and was introduced to theater at Casa Mañana, a performing arts organization in Tarrant County. During his freshman year of high school, he noticed his right leg was starting to bow. His family brought him to Scottish Rite Hospital, where physicians determined he had Blount’s disease. “Just before I went into surgery, I told my mom I was scared,” Attaway recalls. “But I had to have the procedure so I could dance on Broadway.”

His dream turned into a reality 15 years later. Attaway saw his predecessor, actor James Monroe Iglehart, win a Tony for his role as Genie and knew he wanted to audition. He landed a spot on the cast and made his Broadway debut as the Genie standby. He assumed the role full time in February 2017. “I’ve had to be open to transformation. It’s part of what happened at Scottish Rite Hospital,” says Attaway. “I had to transform my mind and body to take over this condition and the hospital gave me what I needed to keep moving.” While playing Genie has fulfilled two of Major’s goals – being on

Broadway and working for Disney – he also hopes to record music and one day play a Disney villain.

Get to know our SRH Staff – Jennifer Brooks, Volunteer Services

Jennifer Brooks is the Special Projects Coordinator for our Volunteer Services department and has been working at the hospital for the past 6 years. After volunteering in high school and starting as a Junior Volunteer Intern, she now coordinates the Junior Volunteer Program! Learn more about her below.

Jennifer Brooks, Louanne Weeks, Meg Boyd, Olivia Waidman, Pedro Rodriguez, Rachel Trippet

What’s your favorite thing about the hospital?

The people – staff, volunteers, and visitors – everyone has such a great story, brings so much to the table and LOVES Scottish Rite Hospital.

Describe a typical day.

I don’t think there is such a thing! There is always something new and exciting to do. Spring & Summer are concentrated around the Junior Volunteer Program & special events. Fall & Winter are focused on getting the hospital ready for the holiday season – we start in September! Sprinkle in tours and you have a recipe for an exciting year!

How did you find out about the hospital?

I was a Junior Volunteer when I was in high school!

What made you want to work here?

The culture and how highly the staff speak about the hospital. It was clear from day one that this would be so much more than a job – it would be a family.

What skills do you need for your job?

Patience, creativity, attention to detail & good communication!

What was your first job? What path did you take to get here?

First job ever? Limited Too (now Justice) in high school!

First job out of college? Scottish Rite!
I started while still in school as the Junior Volunteer Program Intern, then was so fortunate enough to be hired on full time as Volunteer Services’ Department Associate. Now I’m the Special Projects Coordinator and I love every minute of it.

What is your favorite…

Hospital event: San Angelo Clay Shoot

Food in the cafeteria: It’s a tie between baked potato soup & mac & cheese

Place in the hospital: Volunteer Services, duh!

What’s your favorite…

Place to travel: Anywhere with a beach

Type of food: Sushi

TV show: Friends

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

I’d like to be able to teleport!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A marine biologist

What’s the last book you read?

Stephen King’s IT

What kind of animal would you be?

An Orca

What is something people don’t know about you?

I LOVE excel spreadsheets. I have spreadsheets for EVERYTHING!

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

Anything by Celine Dion or Whitney Houston – but I only karaoke alone in my car

Paving the Way to Bright Futures

If you are on the grounds of the hospital, take a moment to explore the James F. Chambers, Jr. Youth Fitness Park. The park features a large green lawn surrounded by an inviting walking path, which winds past decorative sculptures and recreational areas. In this tranquil outdoor setting you will also find a brick pathway.

Upon closer inspection, you will discover that these bricks are unique. Many of them are engraved with a name or personalized message to honor a loved one or celebrate a milestone. But one thing these amber-colored blocks have in common is that each one is a symbol of hope and support for Scottish Rite Hospital patients.

“Participating in our brick program is a meaningful and affordable way for our donors to leave a legacy on the grounds of Scottish Rite Hospital,” says Stephanie Brigger, the hospital’s vice president of Development.

One of the longtime supporters, Dallas-area donor Michael Turner, began creating a legacy when the program started 20 years ago. Since then, he has donated more than 100 bricks to the hospital.

“I give from my heart,” Turner explains. “I give bricks rather than flowers because a brick will last forever.”

Individuals, families, corporations and anyone who wants to create a bright future for the patients of Scottish Rite Hospital can participate in the program. The cost of each brick is $150 and multiple bricks can be purchased, with all funds supporting the hospital.

Remember a loved one, commemorate a milestone or celebrate a special occasion, while benefiting hospital patients. To purchase a brick or receive more information, call 214-559-7650. You may also download a donation form from our website at scottishritehospital.org/give.

Summer Colors Art Auction: Meet the 2017 Artists, Part III

Summer Colors, now in its ninth year, was an idea born out of passion for both art and the patients of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Founded in 2009 by Jenny and Loren Koziol and Jill and Dupree Scovell, this silent art auction raises awareness about the hospital, while also exposing the Dallas community to up and coming local artists.

Each year, local artists donate original pieces of art to be featured in the auction, with all the proceeds benefiting Scottish Rite Hospital. Over the next few weeks, we will be introducing you to all of the artists.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday, July 27, at Scottish Rite Hospital. Additional information can be found at community.tsrhc.org/summer-colors.

Meet our third round of artists below! Please note: all photos of the art are shown as examples of their work. 

MEGAN ADAMS BROOKS

Inspired by patterns and textures in the natural world, Megan Adams Brooks creates abstract paintings on silk that reflect the beauty found throughout nature. Brooks began painting interior scapes on canvas early in her career. It was through depicting the fabrics and patterns in a room that she discovered her fascination with fabrics, which led her to designing custom textiles. From there, Brooks found her true passion for the silk medium. Painting on silk, similar to watercolor, provides many opportunities for unexpected challenges and happy accidents. The process is time-sensitive, multi-layered and endlessly inventive. Brooks’ unique method of self-expression fulfills her unending obsession to create.

Brooks’ work has been exhibited at Art Basel in Miami and McKinney Avenue Contemporary (The MAC) at 3120 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX. Her work hangs in public and private collections, nationally and internationally. Brooks holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Art degree in painting and drawing from Southern Methodist University and a Master’s of Fine Art degree from the University of North Texas. She lives and works in Dallas, TX.

CHARLSIE DOAN

In her own words: I am a self-taught landscape artist, primarily using oils and sometimes watercolors.

Inspiration: My inspirations are the colors of the sky. My grandparents live on a farm in rural New Mexico, and I love being there because the sky is so wide and huge that it is possible to see everything, the stars, the clouds, the sunrises, and the sunsets. I especially love the vibrant oranges and reds of sunset, and these are the colors that you can see most in my paintings.

 

MEAGAN JOHNSON

Bright colors, bold contrast, and unique expressive subjects. My small business focuses on pet portraiture, but is inspired by new school style flash art and pop art.

 

 

 

 

 

JOANNE “JOJO” HERDA

Joanne Herda -The Miracle of LivingRocket scientist turned self-taught abstract artist utilizing a blend of the analytical mind and artistic passion to create harmonious balance of color on canvas with compassion and diligence. Artwork is created for the individual collector, clients of leading interior design and non-profit organizations. JoJo was honored to be named a Fashion Group Internal of Dallas 2016Rising Star Nominee in Art.

Inspiration: Artwork inspiration is drawn from life experiences, 80’s flare, and the color found in everyday objects.

CHRISTI MERIL

Christi Meril has been creating mixed media art filled with simple and connectable images since 2006.  She has devoted herself as an artist to create images that speak to the eye and heart of the beholder.  Her artwork is filled with modern yet timeless pieces full of life, self-reflection and love.  Over the years, her work has appeared in ArtHouse Dallas, The Thrift Studio, Dallas, The Dallas Flea, The Jewish Art Fest of Dallas, Arts and Tarts, open shows at the 500X Gallery and sold locally.  She is also found in personal collections from California to New York and abroad.  Christi resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband, two daughters, two standard poodles and English bulldog.

To see my art please go to: cmerilart.com

MARCI KAWALEK

In her own words: Life inspires me, both postively and negatively. Because I consider myself to be an experimental artist (not limiting myself to one particular style or palette). I am free to explore the various media and palettes that will best express my understanding of and feelings about whatever my current passion or subject is.

 

 

 

 

CAROLINE QUISENBERRY

Constantly in need of a “creative outlet”, I would often find new project and hobbies to test drive. The day I was introduced to jewelry, jewelry design, and a paintbrush was the day I realized I could put my biggest passions of creative design, the arts, and crafting into a tangible product to give back to the world.

My personal relationship with design has evolved into a love and passion I incorporate into every aspect of my life, both personally and professionally. Throughout my professional life, I have broadened my creative abilities through even planning, jewelry designs, painting, branding, business development, client relations, and marketing. Alongside my professional life, I have grown my design skills through my jewelry and painting business, CLQ Designs.

CLQ Designs offers custom jewelry design, jewelry redesign, and abstract acrylic paintings, while catering to the client’s style, need and budget! CLQ Designs offers the best of both worlds – unique handcrafted jewelry and art sure to make you and your home the statement piece at your next event and a price point that won’t send you running for the hills! I want my clients to be able to call me on a random Tuesday and ask if I can design them something new because they need to “spoil” themselves.

Since childhood, my creativity and passion for design has fueled my drive to explore new experiences, learn new skill sets, and cultivate meaningful relationships. For me, the most exciting and rewarding part of CLQ Designs is knowing that I am not limited to what I can learn, design and create. I love getting together with my clients to get our creative wheels turning together in order to design their one of a kind piece from CLQ Designs. I love the challenge of design and thrive off creativity (I can’t get enough of it!).

LORI CUSICK

Background/Bio: In 2002, Lori decided to follow her life’s passion and recommitted herself to painting. At this time, she first engaged in plein air painting. “The challenges presented by painting nature while being part of that nature have taught me a tremendous amount about studying light and manipulating paint.” The one constant through her paintings: her energetic spontaneous brushstroke, applying paint with a confident contemporary approach.

Lori resides in Dallas, a long way from the mountains of New York where she was born and raised. She attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, earning a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art. Over the following years, Lori successfully pursued a career as a commercial artist designing for advertising agencies and running her own design studio. She is currently Design Director for the award-winning Private Clubs magazine. You see the influence of her commercial career in her exciting compositions … silhouettes of the world.

Inspiration: Nature and the ever changing light.

LACELLIESE KING

My work reflects an intrigue with harmony and dissonance between wildlife in nature and their depiction in art. Their powerful beauty is an irresistible invitation for realist portrayal, but what inspires my interpretations is the complexity of subjects that can not be tamed, whether in the wild or on a canvas.

Working in mixed media, including oil, acrylic, and graphite, I allow my wildlife portrayals to take on a life of their own. Contrasting elements of abstract expressionism and realism, my desired aesthetic is one of simple elegance and esprit. 

CATHERINE SEALES

I am inspired by colors and the moods that they create together. Raising three small children can by exhausting, but at the same time gives me energy and brightness to my art work.

Grant’s Moment – KidSwing

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As a patient, Grant has a special appreciation for Scottish Rite Hospital and a desire to give back. He does so by participating in the hospital’s annual KidSwing Golf Tournaments where Grant doesn’t just play golf – he plays for a purpose.

For more information about KidSwing, please visit kidswing.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.