I am so excited to share with you a story about an artist, a mission and how this all relates to my latest restaurant design project. My initial design for the restaurant did not include art. In fact, 2 large photographs were the only "art" I intended to incorporate. The rest of the design was minimal and based on architectural elements.
As the project was nearing completion, suddenly the lack of art became an issue for the owner. We had several conversations about his expectations and I presented a handful of options that never satisfied him. Feeling deflated, I logged onto Facebook to let my mind be numb for a few minutes and lo and behold the post staring me in the face was my artist friend, Micheal Hammons, stating he was thinking of selling his art to fund future mission trips to Haiti!
I could barely contain my excitement as I knew this was God's timing and the exact answer I was searching for!!! I immediately called the owner and was shocked when he responded "yes" within minutes of my proposal. Ya'll, yes' have been VERY hard to come by in this project so the fact that he answered so quickly was yet another sign that this was God's handiwork.
Now that you know the background, let me introduce you to my friend...
Here's a bit about Micheal and his mission. I snagged this excerpt from his flyer:
"Hello! My name is Micheal. I am an artist and I also am deaf. My first mission trip to Haiti was in November 2014 and I immediately fell in love with the Haitian people; especially the Deaf Community in the Village of Leveque. I received my ASL Certificate in May 2014 and am now able to communicate with the Deaf Community thru American Sign Language and Creole Signing. I knew that God had a purpose when He made it possible for me to obtain my ASL Certificate and I believe that a large part of that purpose includes me being a missionary to the Deaf in Haiti. Four goals I hope to accomplish through my ministry to the Deaf Community are enlightenment, empowerment, education and employment. I envision two to three trips per year to Haiti working with the Deaf Community to even begin to realize these goals. Because God has blessed me with a love and talent for art, 100% of the sale of any artwork on display here or sold through my online store on Facebook (look for "Shop" in the left sidebar) will go towards financing my future missions to Haiti. Also, feel free to send me your contact information through my online store and I will keep you updated on my trips and progress made. Thank you for your support in making these missions possible."
-Micheal Hammons, artist/missionary
I stopped by his studio to make selections earlier this week. It was no easy task. There were so many brilliant pieces to choose from.
A mix of past and present paintings.
I tried to pry his dog portraits away from him but had no such luck. They're "his" dogs and "his" paintings, i.e. not for sell. Darn!
Portrait of "Tamalyon" who is Micheal's deaf friend in the Village of Levequee, Haiti.
Two of the three paintings available in the restaurant.
I narrowed down my selection to 5 of Micheal's masterpieces and they're now hanging in the restaurant and available to be purchased! I'm praying these beauties fly off the walls so fast that Micheal has a hard time keeping up with the demand.
I know many of you aren't local and won't have the pleasure of seeing his work in this venue but please take a minute to visit his facebook page, here, to "like" it and spread the word of his quest to make a difference in the Deaf Communities in Haiti. Another way to support Micheal is by visiting his Go Fund Me page.
I have to be transparent here, I shared in this post back in July, that I was terrified of the restaurant project and had no clue if I was qualified to tackle it. As things began to unfold with Micheal's art it quickly became blatantly clear to me that my involvement had nothing to do with "designing" but rather was part of a bigger picture...God's design.