Thursday February 28th Eric Lutes and I held an art show at The Courthouse Center For The Arts in Kingston RI. There was a great turnout!
Ready to Unveil
Having grown up in a family of fisherman, the fishing industry holds a special place for me. Eric also is a native Charlestown Rhode Islander has fond memories on and around the water with his family. Collaborating on a painting just made perfect sense which lead to our unveiling of the collaboration and exhibiting our unique paintings of the coast. Everyone seemed to have a good time and Eric and I both made some sales.
Something even better happened after the show however, that brought so much more meaning to this event. Someone reached out to me through my website asking if I was related to a Fisherman by the last name of Brayton. It turned out to be my uncle. She is one of 10 kids who lost their brother fishing with my uncle. He was only 28. The fishermans memorial is very special to her due the support the FM brings to the living of those lost at sea. I never lost a family member at sea so I personally haven’t experienced what the FM does for its members and those who have lost loved ones.
My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones and that’s why Eric and my collaboration would bring a little more to the foundation to help another family who lost someone at sea.
The collaboration, “clamoration” or “Pearl” as some have called it is still available to be auctioned on. The base price for this 30×40 painting is $1000. Retail value $4800. All the proceed will go to the Fisherman’s Memorial. I hope you consider placing your bid today!!
The full story of someone touched by the memorial in her words can be read here;
“Unlike many of my siblings, I like to talk about Vinny. I can understand how my older siblings dont talk about what happened very much. It is always with them, and it will never stop hurting until they can be with him again. Vinny was the 4th born and I was the 8th born. We had 7 years between us. So many thoughts go through my mind. What if he had not been lost at sea? What would his wedding and family and children be like? He was to be married that Spring. He and his Fiance Fran had just become engaged Christmas eve. She is still a very big part of my life and she was a big part of my Mom’s also. I love her like the sister she should have been. When Mom was alive I would take her to the memorial. She was there for the ribbon cutting as I was and a few of my siblings were also. The two that were closest to Vinny live out of state and of course my brother Buddy who just died 2 years ago, was very close to Vinny and he took his death very hard.
Our Dad died in 1994 so he never saw the memorial. For years I would go to Watch Hill and throw flowers in the water and I would drive along the shore line and feel closer to Vinny. His birthday is June 1 and of course I was always by the sea.
When we learned of the memorial we were so happy and felt blessed. Finally a spot to go to, with his name, and it was something concrete. My parents were not allowed to add Vinnys name to the headstone they had because there was no death certificate. Seeing my parents go through that pain, the unknown , is something I would never wish on anyone. They had lost another child years before Vinny. My sister Mary Madonna died at age 5. She had cancer. I was born 5 years after she passed. Vinny was a toddler when my sister passed but Mom always spoke of their closeness. Not having a place to go to grieve or place flowers was very hard. My parents needed that! So when the memorial was built , and as BEAUTIFUL as it is, it was as though it was real now. It happened! His name was right there. Although my Mom did think it was beautiful and she did appreciate and visit it with me often, it still was never the same. No closure!! When she passed 4 years ago, I felt peace knowing she was with him and my Dad and sister again.
So, You can see just how important this memorial is to me. It was so important to my Mom that Vinny never be forgotten. He lived and he mattered and as long as I am alive, I will speak of him and to him as long as I can.
That memorial means so much to so many. My niece Amanda goes to the beach at Camp Cronin often in the summer. She tells her daughter Zoey they are going to Cronin. Zoey says, you mean Uncle Vinnys Beach! That is what she calls it. Amanda did not get to meet Vinny, but through her Father and the rest of us, she knows him well. She shares our stories and my Mom’s stories with Zoey. The sea is in our blood. The memorial is such a big piece of our life now, so much that I will never leave Rhode Island. Without it, we have our memories, but nowhere to reflect. I thank you for what you have done and I would be more than willing to volunteer and help in anyway I can. ”