Saturday, August 19, 2006

Citizen Update

Hello there Miss Leslie!
Sorry I haven't updated you sooner, but as you will see, we've been very busy beavers, or as they say on the bayou, nutria.
First, I have to tell you about what happened today. I was on my way to go check on some free couches, Abbey had a mishap. She always likes to go with me, so as usual, we were off. I had the window down about 2/3 of the way, and she was sticking her head out of it. Luckily I was still on a side street, when she decided to put her hind legs on the arm rest. At that same moment the road makes a curve, and out she flips of the window. I freaked out, slammed on the brakes, and ran to her. She luckily didn't break anything, but did get a small cut on her back leg and badly shaken up. I really don't know which one of us was more scared. Anyway, I brought her right back haoe and cleaned her cut, and wrapped her in her blnet and she is resting now. Seems to be ok, but I'm not leaving her side today. I just couldn't bear losing her as she's become the love of our lives. Anyway,
The good news is that we're really making headway on the house. The sheetrock is about 85% up and the siding is about 2/3 up. Lagniappe is supposed to be getting some skilled workers in this week and hopefully they can finish hanging the rock , mudding, and do the final sanding. After that, I'm going to get a spray apinter and spray everything with primer, then put on the final coat and color. t will all be downhill from there. Last week we paid for the cabinets and counter tops and they should be ready in about 3 wks, which will be just about right.
Leslie, I feel like a new person, now hat there is a clearing at the end of the forest, and it's mostly come true due to people like you. You really should have wings and a halo. I can't wait to send pictures. I gotta run, but I will keep you updated and send pictures as soon as the sheetrock is done. Thanks again for the help and encouragement, good friend.
I sure hope your asthma gets better, I know what a bitch it can be, as one of my son's has it. Also, could you let me know what hospital Pastor Bonnie is in? There's an epidemic going around with those stinkin' staph infections. Timmy got one on his inner thigh and it really started spreading. We don't have any insurance, so were trying to Dr. it ourselves, but soon realized that wasn't too smart, so one morning when he woke up and it was heading both north and south, we ran to the ER. The Dr. immediately took him in, and had to lance it, and pack it. A couple days later he took out the packing and Timmy had to stay on antibiotics for 2 weeks. I guess only sulfur based ones will work. Seems like everyone is getting them. The ER Dr said it is becoming an epidemic that started about 6 years ago, and they can't seem to find a way to stop it. Another plague?
Anyway, the old seahag on the bayou is signing off to go to work on the house and be nurse to my baby, Abbey. Talk to ya soon,

Hi there! Just wanted to give you some positive news. TODAY, we have 2 crews here working on the house! One is putting the siding on the house, and the other is putting up the insulation! You can't imagine how happy I am. It is such a big step in getting uws back into the house. We're hoping to get some sheetrock up next week, but not sure if there will be help available. If we have to, Timmy and I will try to do what we can, but hopefully there will be a group to help. I've got 2 cabinet people working on prices for them. They say it takes 6 wks. to get them, but I would move in even without them. There's about 20 people here today, and I want to do something special, so I'm off to the store to try and get something special for luch for them just a small way to show how much they are appreciated. I want to thank you also for always being there not just for me, but for everyone you've touched. As soo as they get done, I'll take some pics and send them. Gotta run, but just wanted to give some positve news for a change. Talk at ya soon, Love and thanks, Yvonne, Timmy, and of course, Abbey!

9/16 Update
I'm still up here in Green Bay. Got the results back from the biopsy, and they were negative! Praise God! They still don't know why they were enlarged, so will need to keep an eye open, but at least it isn't cancer at this point. Said it might be something viral. Anyway, thanks soooo much for the prayers, I know they helped. I'm going to see my mom on Tues and will spend a week or so with her, then go back down to the daily challenge on the bayou. I hope if all goes well, and we get a little more help, we can be in by Thanksgiving. That would be so awesome. Don't remember (senior moments) but we have all the windows in, the exterior doors, new roof, 99% of the electrical and 60% plumbing done, the siding is bought, but not up yet, the front and back stairs are rebyuilt and up. Will send pictures when I get back. I was given a digital camera to use so I can download them to the computer, but I have to be at home to do that. Thanks again Leslie, for being the person you are, you are a treasure to the world! We all love you! Yvonne


This is from Yvonne, showing the steady, but slow, progress on her and her husband's house. They are amazing people! They have no money, he's a fisherman trying to make ends meet working on the docks doing ship repair, and yet they help distribute loads of goods as they arrive at a local Presby church (The Lagniappe Presbytery). They also held a shrimp boil for all the folks over there! Talk about wonderful!

She has a great camera! I was able to pull a LOT of information out of the shadows.

Both homes next to each other.

This next picture has a bit of a request with it. Yvonne needs to use a wheel chair most of the time. She has a degenerative back disorder that is making stairs more and more difficult. Does anyone know where we can find an outdoor wheel chair lift for her? I'm at a total loss. If you do, please contact her directly at Tillmanx2 at AOL cot com (written out to avoid spammers)

Her sanity! A fearless pup that brings sheer joy after her last dog died just a few months ago.

6/26 -Today some volunteers came and put on half the roof, and hopefully will be back tomorrow to finish the rest. I'm sure by end of the week it'll be done. Lagniappe church supplied the workers and material. What a Godsend! There's supposed to be an electrician coming tomorrow also, so if he gets here, and we can finish up the wiring, we can get going on putting up the walls and start to wrap it and side it. Then sheetrock and insulation. I don't think I'll get an elevator/lift. All avenues I've pursued have come to a dead end, but I can't complain. At least the rest of it seems to be coming together. I'll keep you posted on our progress or lack of it (Ha ha). Anyway, have a great 4th of July weekend. I bet there will be some awesome fireworks out that way.

Thanks again for the info,

Love,Yvonne on the Bayou!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Local Artist on NPR

2/12 Hey y'all-It has been a very busy-and productive-three months since I last emailed. First, I was able to move my studio to its new location in an old barn on Pinetucky Road (really!) in the beautiful community of Henleyfield, Mississippi. Although it means an hour one-way commute for me, the simple fact that I have electricity in my studio, for the first time since the storm, makes it worthwhile. What a luxury.This fall, I traveled to Washington DC for a terrific show in Georgetown, and a piece of The Katrina Collection was purchased for inclusion in the Safeco Corporate Art Collection in Seattle. An image from The Katrina Collection was included on the holiday card from the Southern Arts Federation, and the Mississippi Humanities Council again honored my work by choosing an image for the cover of their Annual Report. I hosted a very enjoyable workshop in Ocean Springs, MS recently and was invited to join the featured artists at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, also in Ocean Springs. I began writing feature articles on other artists on the coast for South Mississippi Living, and finally, the State of Mississippi commissioned me to create twenty pieces of The Katrina Collection as gifts from the state to journalists from six Western European nations. The next few months look to be busy as well; towards the end of this month I will leave for a road trip back to the DC area, where I will be participating in a show in Alexandria, VA and teaching a workshop in the same location. From there I will fly to Midland, Texas for the opening reception of The Katrina Collection in their 2007 Contemporary Artist Series. April will see another show in Richmond, VA and in May, Cairo and I will make the drive to Minneapolis for a show at Frank Stone Gallery. In June I will be teaching a workshop for children at Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, and another workshop is scheduled in July in Bay St. Louis. In September, I have been invited back for the annual Art for the Sangres Show in Colorado. In between trips, I have been working up at the barn on Pinetucky, creating a bunch of new pieces of The Katrina Collection. I have just finished updating the website, so please take a look, and if you are inclined to forward the site on to your mailing list, I would be very appreciative. The new work is all posted towards the top of the site. Hoping that the New Year is bringing good things to all of you-


Hey y'all-
I have finally updated the blog for The Katrina Collection with several new pieces. The past three months have involved so much traveling-Colorado, Louisiana, Washington DC, Jackson, New York City-that I have not had any time to be working on the collection. It's good to be home again for a few weeks, and doing what I love.
While I continue to work on The Katrina Collection, I am also creating small, very affordable (starting at $20) collages created from handmade, hand painted papers and polymer clay. While I have several ongoing series, the most popular collages this holiday season are the works which feature bas relief images of Russian icons. The molds for these pieces were created directly from exquisite bronze Russian icons which are estimated to be two centuries old. The images translate beautifully into the polymer, which I then paint with acrylics. I choose a variety of handmade and/or hand painted papers to complement the iconographic images and include an interpretation of the icon, written by an authority on the Byzantine tradition, with each piece. Other pieces in the series are created around giclee reproductions of painted icons and incorporate ancient text images which I acquired from one of the Smithsonian galleries on a trip to Washington, DC last week.
At 4 pm today and again on Saturday and Sunday, I will be gifting a collage from this collection. Stop in at The Artists of 220 Main in Bay St. Louis and enter your name in the free drawing. For those of you who are out of the area, please visit one of the two blogsites listed below, scroll down to the end and email me the confirmation number, and I will enter your name in the drawing.
On December 2nd, I will be spending the day with my friends in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Lynn has invited me back to Birdman Coffee and Books for their annual Christmas in the Country, and I hope to see many of you there in this most delightful of southern communities. Again at this location, I will be gifting a piece from The Icon Series.
One last note. Our Mississippi premiere screening of The Art of the Storm was very well received. I'd like to remind all of you to visit to purchase one of the documentaries. The film follows the stories of several coast artists as we struggle to rebuild our lives and careers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and at $20, it is another very affordable Christmas gift.
Here's hoping that you all have a great holiday season-
Take care,

9/13 - Just got in From Lori

Hi everyone-The feature story on The Katrina Collection is scheduled to air on the CBS Evening News tomorrow-Thursday the 14th. So unless we get bumped, see you then!



The last couple of weeks have been a very busy time down here. I am pasting on a few links to some recent coverage of The Katrina Collection. There will be more coming, as I spent yesterday morning with some wonderful people from the CBS Evening News. I will send along an email when that interview is due to air. For now, here are the links-the first is to an Associated Press story which just came online yesterday, and the second is an interview which I did with National Public Radio. In addition, I just returned from a trip to Minneapolis for the premiere screening of a documentary by Watts Up Productions. "The Art of the Storm" follows the journey of several Gulf Coast artists in our efforts to recover from the storm. Please go to for more information about the film. If you wish to be removed from this mailing list, please let me know- Take care,Lori

All Things Considered, August 5, 2006 ยท
In Bay Saint Louis, Miss., artist Lori Gordon has quite literally picked up the pieces in the wake of Hurricane Katrina... and is trying to make sense of the storm with bits of the rubble left behind.
Gordon's "Katrina Collection" is full of mixed-media collages that are meant for wall space in living rooms or display space on bookshelves. They're attempts to draw meaning and order from hurricane debris.
As early as a week after the storm hit, she began combing through muck and mud for pieces of her life and the lives of her neighbors. She found a copper frying pan bought in Mexico, smashed flat as a tortilla. She found bits of furniture, the bleached appendages of dolls, scarred and twisted metal, a pastoral sketch of a tree-lined country road turned ghostlike by sludge and mold.
Gone were the coastal landscapes Gordon painted before Katrina. But she began to see artistic promise and peril in the massive piles of debris that remained.
"I started doing this out of some kind of psychological desperation," she says. "I was so desperate to be doing something productive."
She says her series is about "rebirth" and "rebuilding" and "taking whatever it is you have left -- even if you have lost everything -- taking whatever it is you can find and starting again."

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