Ribbon of Hope

A couple of the artists (Linda & Charles Perkins) my gallery (IncredibleArtist.Com) represents was commissioned by the city of Palm Springs to create an AIDS ribbon sculpture to be dedicated at the Desert AIDS Project on World AIDS Day, 2009.

The sculpture itself is really lovely, the red glass embraced within the copper wires shone under the lighting.

Linda is amazing as always. She exudes such an amazing energy. I think it is creativity flowing out of her. Charles is amazing, also, with his trademark fedora.

Rick Pantele, founder of IncredibleArtist.Com, in collaboration with the Desert AIDS Project was instrumental in convincing Mayor Pougnet to get the Palm Springs city council to donate the money needed to commission this sculpture.

We (Rick, Michael, Linda, Charles, and I) were ushered into the VIP room where we got to meet in person Morgan Fairchild, who looked absolutely stunning. Jeffrey Lane, Morgan’s public relations agent, was very cool and fun to photograph. He has an amazing smile. He joked around and I was able to take a few shots of him hamming it up for the camera. David Brinkman, executive director of the Desert AIDS Project, was also present. Photos were taken with Rick and the Perkins and Morgan.

State assemblyman Manny Perez was also in the room. Rick introduced me to Manny and he thanked me for my service (I never know what to say afterward when people do that).

Palm Springs mayor Steve Pougnet made an appearance and there were more photos taken. I was co-opted to take more photos and at one point, by Morgan herself when she handed me her camera to take photos with. Of course, that is what inevitably happens with me in any social setting. I become the default event photographer for some reason.

David Brinkman was the first one on the podium, who made a heartfelt plea to people present to join the Desert AIDS Project in convincing Sacramento to not cut funding for vital AIDS programs.

Morgan Fairchild was next, who reiterated her commitment to combating AIDS. She spoke of her longtime advocacy beginning as early as 1979 of combating the stigma associated with the disease as well as friendship with Rock Hudson as he succumbed to the disease.

Terri, a DAP client for years, gave an impassioned speech about how much the Desert AIDS Project means to her and many people.

Manny Perez gave a powerful speech and vowed that he is going to take the fight to Sacramento for his constituents.

Mayor Pougnet talked about the 25-year partnership the city of Palm Springs has had with the Desert AIDS Projects and similar community organizations. He publicly and repeatedly thanked Rick Pantele, founder of IncredibleArtist.Com, for being instrumental in making the ribbon dedication happen. Finally, the mayor, on behalf of the city of Palm Springs, officially dedicated the Perkins’s sculpture.

After the dedication, Morgan Fairchild was unsurprisingly mobbed by fans and supporters thanking her unwavering commitment and unceasing efforts to the HIV/AIDS cause. I managed to slide through the crowd and asked Jeffrey Lane if maybe Morgan would be able to take photos with the Perkins in front of their sculpture. It took a while, but Jeffrey was able to get Morgan with the Perkins. I took a few photos and one with Rick as well.

Random Bits

I asked David Brinkman, the snappy dresser that he is, where he got his suit. They are amazing and I want one.

Marilyn Chung, of the Desert Sun, was photographing the event for her newspaper. It was nice to see her again. And the cameras she was carrying looked mighty heavy.

Michael Marshall, of IncredibleArtist.Com, made the origami ribbon I am wearing.

A very touching moment when Morgan Fairchild was approached by someone who afflicted with the disease. He talked to her, thanking her for all the work she has done on behalf of people like him. But when he started to cry, Morgan embraced him and held him tight in her arms for a long time.

AIDS Ribbon Sculptures

Linda & Charles Perkins are creating miniature versions of the “Ribbon of Hope,” the sculpture’s name, to be made available in a limited edition. Some of the proceeds of the sale of the artworks are going to the Desert AIDS Project. The ribbons, with their copper wire and red glass, are beautiful to behold. You can order one of 125 miniature “Ribbon of Hope” from their store.

3 thoughts on “Ribbon of Hope”

  1. It sounds like a very successful event for such an important cause. Awesome!
    Of course you are the default photographer–people probably PLAN it that way. Who wouldn’t want you to take their photo? :)

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