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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
September 6 , 2002

Benefits fight hinges on meaning of voter

Group didnt get enough signatures to put partner
measure to a vote, city says

Columbus--The City of Cleveland Heights says those who drafted its charter were �fully capable of articulating the difference� between a percentage of �registered voters� and �voters voting� in an election. Thus, the Ohio Supreme Court should deny an anti-gay group�s request that the terms be used interchangeably in order to force a referendum� on the city�s domestic partner benefits ordinance.

In a brief filed with the high court August 30, Cleveland Heights Law Director John Gibbon used sworn testimony given during the depositions of Families First leaders Tracie Moore and Zoe Tyler to establish that the anti-gay group knew as early as April 16--one day after city council passed the ordinance--that the number of registered voters was higher than the 12,221 the group now says it should be.

Families First, using paid signature gatherers, failed to gather the signatures of 15 percent of the registered voters at the last municipal election. This is the number the city charter requires to force a referendum.

Having failed to collect enough signatures, the group employed attorney David Langdon of Cincinnati to ask the Supreme Court to reinterpret the number needed, and order council clerk Thomas Malone to certify the petitions.

According to Langdon, who filed his brief August 15, the �the definition of voter is the meat and potatoes of the case.�

Langdon argues that the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections� certified number of 35,699 voters contains people who are deceased, people who have moved out of Cleveland Heights, and people who don�t vote. He wants the court to lower the number to 12,221, representing the actual number of people who voted in the city�s last election on Novermber 6.

Using the lower number would mean that Moore�s group gathered more than enough signatures to put the benefits on the ballot. With the board�s number, they fall short.

Gibbon argues that neither Families First nor Langdon believed the number to be 12,221, and that their current interpretation of the charter was first suggested only after their petitions were denied.

�The alleged belief that the term �registered voters� meant persons who �actually voted� was suggested for the very first time in the complaint� filed with the Supreme Court, Gibbon wrote in his brief.

Gibbon tells the high court that Families First�s interpretation of the term �registered voters� is �self-serving� and �unsupported by law and reason.� He also points out that Families First had the official number of registered voters from the Board of Elections by May 11, four days prior to the day the petitions were due.

Gibbon also responded to Families First�s charge that the Board of Elections list isn�t reliable because it contains the names of dead people.

�It defies common sense to suggest that the poll books should not contain the names of any registered voters who are dead,� Gibbon wrote. �The lists are of necessity and pursuant to law prepared in advance of an election. It is simply not possible to ensure that none of the registered voters appearing on the list dies prior to the election.�

As to Families First�s charge that Malone, as council clerk, had the �clear legal duty� to adjust the Board of Elections lists when it could be shown that there had been a death or someone had moved, Gibbon argues that Ohio law gives that responsibility to the Board of Elections.

The board is also a party to the suit, and is represented by Assistant County Prosecutor Reno Oradini.

Oradini also filed his brief August 30. He argues that the board followed Ohio law and federal law in determining the number of registered voters in Cleveland Heights.

�A registered voter remains a registered voter as long as they are listed on the registration books and poll books, irrespective of their status,� wrote Oradini. �The Board of Elections cannot arbitrarily remove individuals.�

Oradini suggested in his brief that the 12,221 figure could have come from Cleveland Heights council member Jimmie Hicks, who was the only member opposing the domestic partner benefits, and one of the organizers of Families First.

From his deposition of Moore, Oradini argued, �Committee member Jimmie Hicks told [Moore] that the ballpark figure [of registered voters] was 12,500.�

From Tyler�s deposition, Oradini argued that on May 10, not only did Families First know the correct number of registered voters, but Tyler brought it to the attention of Board of Elections Director Tom Jelepis that they had been given the wrong numbers previously.

Following Tyler�s complaint, Jelepis ordered the Board�s Media and Public Relations Administrator to notify all parties, including Hicks, who was with Moore when the petitions were submitted, that the correct number was 35,699.

Oradini also argued that incorrect information, especially when given by unnamed and unknown Board of Election employees, does not mean that Families First should be relieved of their duty to get the correct number.

Oradini did not comment on the record for this report. Gibbon also could not be reached for comment.

Langdon has until September 5 to file a rebuttal brief. The high court is not likely to ask for oral arguments, and will decide the matter by the content of the briefs.

The court does not have a deadline for a decision. Since the suit originated in the state�s highest court, there will be no appeals.

 

 


 

 

A night to hold hands on the merry-go-round

Cincinnati��We could hold hands, we could kiss,� said Mack McCoy, pointing out one of the pleasures of Pride Night at Kings Island.

The Cincinnati Gay and Lesbian Center hosted the sixth annual fundraising event on August 30. That evening, the amusement park was open only to people buying tickets through the center, or at the gate. It began at 6 pm and went until after midnight.

�We left at 12:30 or so,� said McCoy, a four-year Cincinnati resident. �It was so much fun.�

�My partner and I and some of our friends went. It was great going there that night,� he said, comparing it to previous visits to the park. �The lines were short or non-existent.�

�There were so many people we knew,� he continued.

�We relocated here about four years ago and we were pretty skeptical,� said McCoy, who moved to the Queen City with his partner from Colorado. �We had heard a lot of things about Cincinnati. Now, four years later, there�s just so much to do here, like Pride Night.�

Other attractions at the park included the Cincinnati Men�s Chorus, the Queen City Rainbow Band and the Divas of Paramount�s Queens Island, a female illusionist group formed for the event, some of whom came from as far away as Indianapolis to perform.

�This was my first involvement on the working end of it,� said Damon Gore, a member of the entertainment committee. �Kings Island helped us out with a lot of the event.�

He pointed out that the amusement park provided technical help for the entertainers, allowing those working the event to focus on other issues needing their attention.

�Everyone went into the event ready for a high-maintenance night, but it was really low-maintenance,� Gore said. �It was really rewarding. Everyone was really excited about the entertainment.�

While final figures will not be available for a couple of weeks, Pride Night committee chair and center vice president Troy Henson notes that preliminary figures show around 3,500 people came to the park that night, making it the center�s largest fundraiser of the year.

�This has been one of our better attended Pride Nights,� Henson said, �and we are very proud and thankful to our community.�

Tickets ranged in price between $21 online with the purchase or renewal of a center membership to $41 at the gate. Ticket stubs could be used for the rest of the weekend towards discounts at area eateries and bars like Jacob�s on the Avenue, the Dock and Hamburger Mary�s.

The event will help fund center programs like the Thursday night Men�s Interactive Group, the Cincinnati Youth Group, screenings every Friday night of the Tales of the City series and the LGBT lending library.

The center is located at 4119 Hamilton Ave., and can be reached Monday through Friday from 6 to 9 pm and Saturdays from noon to four pm at 513-5910200. They also have a 24-hour community switchboard at 513-5910222, and are online at www.glbtcentercincinnati.com.

 

 


Campaign for Miami rights ordinance enters final week

Miami�The battle to save Miami-Dade County�s gay-inclusive human rights ordinance has entered the final stretch. Voters will go to the polls on September 10 to decide whether they will repeal the ordinance for a second time.

A week before the election, a poll conducted for the Miami Herald found that 54% of potential voters opposed the repeal of the ordinance, 34% were in favor of the repeal, and 12% were undecided. But pollsters believe the actual vote will be much closer.

In the final weeks of the struggle, support for the ordinance has come from a variety of sources. American Civil Liberties Union national director Anthony Romero launched a radio blitz August 29, appearing on four different radio stations catering to the Latino community in the area in the course of one day.

�We have diverse populations in many of the nation�s biggest cities,� the ACLU�s first Latino, and first openly gay, director told the Miami Herald. �It�s important we don�t start pitting one community against the other and splintering the broader movement for civil rights.�

Romero, the son of parents from Puerto Rico, described to the Spanish-speaking audience the pain of watching his father being denied jobs because of his heritage and seeing his mother�s discomfort in a society that idolizes the blond-haired, blue-eyed ideal.

The ACLU has also distributed around 25,000 fliers in response to an earlier mailing by Take Back Miami-Dade, the group behind the repeal, falsifying a quote by a close associate of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., asserting that King would have been opposed to gay civil rights.

Coretta Scott-King, the widow of the slain civil rights leader, said her husband supported equal rights for gays and lesbians, and the associate Take Back Miami-Dade referred to in their flier denied having said the statements they attribute to him.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which helped defeat five of six anti-gay ballot measures in last year�s elections, has poured almost a hundred staffers from other offices across the nation to work with Save Dade, the organization struggling to keep the ordinance in place. NGLTF has donated $92,000 to the campaign�s coffers.

The legality of the petitions used to force the issue onto the ballot is also in question. Four members of Take Back Miami-Dade have been arrested for various forms of election fraud, including one of the group�s co-chairs.

Anthony Verdugo, the co-chair, and 17-year-old petition gatherer Christian Montoya were both charged with false swearing for signing the statement on the petitions that they had witnessed each of the signatures. Investigators say that some of the signatures may have been forged.

Notaries public Ralph Patterson and Nayibe Busse were charged with unlawful use of a notary commission for notarizing petition sheets they had signed themselves, which is illegal.

The Miami Herald, following accusations of fraud, launched its own investigation of the petitions, and found many signatures repeated on multiple pages. When the paper contacted people whose names appeared as many as five or six times on different petitions, the majority insisted they had signed only once. Engracia Fernandez, for instance, pointed out that her name is misspelled on two of the three petitions containing it.

One of the forgeries of Fernandez� signatures is on a sheet signed by Nathaniel Wilcox, the remaining co-chair of Take Back Miami-Dade. Wilcox insists both that Fernandez signed in his presence if he signed the sheet, and that �signing in his presence� does not mean that he was required to personally witness each person signing the petition.

Joseph Bello, a petition gatherer who signed as having gathered 800 signatures, said that he had not personally collected all of the signatures, but had delegated the duty to underlings. According to Florida election law, however, the person whose signature appears as the gatherer must personally witness each of the signatures on those petition sheets.

�I think what it means to me is you�re watching the person sign the petition,� said county elections supervisor David Leahy. �I don�t know of any other way to interpret that.�

John Aguero, the Polk County special prosecutor assigned by Gov. Jeb Bush to investigate the allegations of fraud in the ballot initiative, was incredulous at Wilcox and Bello�s attempts to reinterpret the election law.

�State statute says you�re swearing something signed in your presence,� he noted. �It doesn�t mean you were standing across a basketball court, on the other side of the bleacher. If he wants to take that interpretation to court, he�s welcome to do so.�

Miami was the site of the nation�s first anti-gay referendum campaign. In 1977, orange juice cover-girl Anita Bryant led the �Save Our Children� campaign, which resulted in the repeal of the county�s just-passed ordinance. Her crusade also led to the state�s ban on gay adoptions.

The county commission passed the current gay-inclusive legislation in 1998.

 


Appeals court strikes Philadelphia partner ordinance

Philadelphia�A state court struck down a 1998 Philadelphia city ordinance August 29 that recognized same-sex life partnerships, saying the law usurped the power of the state to regulate marriage.

The law had amended the definition of the term �marital status� to include �life partner,� thereby granting benefits to same-sex partners of city employees who signed a partnership affidavit.

Scores of municipalities and a few states around the country have extended same-sex benefits ranging from limited hospitalization to the recognition of civil unions.

On September 3, the city announced both that it was going to appeal the decision and that it was seeking a stay of the judgment to continue providing benefits for those who already receive them.

�We hold that the city was without authority to legislate in the field of domestic relations by defining and creating a new marital status,� Senior Judge Joseph Doyle wrote.

Former Mayor Edward G. Rendell, now the Democratic candidate for governor, signed off on the partnership bills in May 1998 after they were narrowly approved by City Council.

A group of seven city taxpayers later sued, charging the city did not have the power to create a new marital status.

In its ruling, the Commonwealth Court panel gave summary judgment to the plaintiffs, overturning a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court ruling that had granted summary judgment to the city.

�It could not be clearer that, by enacting the Marriage Law, as well as the Divorce Code, and by providing uniform laws in domestic relations throughout the State, the General Assembly tacitly but thoroughly demonstrated its intent to pre-empt this field of legislation,� the court said.

At a minimum, the decision affects the 120 people who have registered as domestic partners with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, a city agency.

City employees who register can obtain the same benefits for their partners as married couples, while non-city workers can use the affidavit to seek domestic partnership benefits from a private employer.

�I think it adds to the luster of the city as a comfortable, safe place to live,� said Lazar Kleit, the commission�s executive director.

The decision also strikes down a city ordinance that allows domestic partners to transfer title or obtain joint title to real estate without paying city taxes on the transfer.

Rendell�s opponent, Republican state Attorney General Mike Fisher, opposes benefits for same-sex couples, a spokesman said.

 


News Briefs

Compiled from wire reports by Brian DeWitt, Anthony Glassman and Patti Harris.

Hate crime victim may have died from hospital error

Riverside, Calif.�A coroner�s report revealed that a man stabbed outside a gay bar in June may have bled to death because a nurse gave him too much of a drug to prevent blood clotting.

Coroner�s officials said in their report, which was released in late August, that a nurse accidentally gave 40-year-old Jeffrey Owens 100,000 units of heparin, an anticoagulant drug. The amount was 100 times the recommended dose, the report said. Owens bled to death at Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley.

Five alleged gang members have been charged and pleaded innocent to murder, gang and hate crime charges.

Authorities said the five defendants attacked Owens outside a Riverside bar June 5 because he was gay. His friend, Michael Bussee, also was beaten and stabbed but survived the attack.

Prosecutors said August 27 that the hospital error does not lessen the culpability of those facing charges.

The report said doctors at the hospital where Owens was treated considered the victim�s wounds moderately serious. A doctor gave Owens a transfusion with his own blood and ordered a nurse to administer the anticoagulant. When the nurse asked how much of the drug she should use, the doctor said he did not know, the report showed. Nurse Patricia Forst told investigators that she called the hospital�s blood bank and pharmacy for help, but neither knew the dosage.

Doctors performed a second surgery three hours after the initial examination. Owens died 2� hours later.

High court asked to end civil union

Hartford, Conn.�A retired Greenwich businessman has asked the state Supreme Court to dissolve a civil union he and his partner obtained two years ago in Vermont.

Glen Rosengarten, 54, filed a petition with the Supreme Court earlier this month after state superior and appellate court judges ruled they had no jurisdiction over civil union matters because Connecticut does not recognize same-sex unions.

Rosengarten and his former partner, Peter Downes of New York City, entered into a civil union in Vermont on New Year�s Eve 2000. But their 15-year relationship ended shortly afterward.

Vermont will not dissolve the civil union because state law requires at least one party be a legal resident before it can do so. The law allows non-residents to obtain civil unions, which grant legal rights similar to those of marriage.

Rosengarten�s lawyers say Connecticut�s courts have jurisdiction to decide the matter. They also said that the lack of a Connecticut law recognizing same-sex unions should not preclude the state from dissolving unions obtained in other states.� They also cited state statutes protecting the rights of gay, lesbian and bisexual people.

Time will be served in men�s prison

Elyria, Ohio--The state prison system has decided an inmate originally jailed as a woman will serve the rest of his sentence in a prison for men.

Lemont Fullers� gender has been questioned since he entered the Lorain County jail about four months ago on a theft charge.

Fullers, 42, pleaded guilty last week to using a stolen credit card. Judge Thomas Janas of Lorain County Common Pleas County wrote two sentencing orders, one for a women�s reformatory and the other for a male prison.

That left the decision to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, which decided to house Fullers with men.

Although doctors in Illinois and Lorain County had concluded Fullers was a woman, the state�s decision was based on his genitals, spokeswoman Pamela Rudolph said. In jail, every inmate must be classified according to gender.

Fullers, a native of Chicago, was arrested as Carla Brenner but maintains he is a gay male with female tendencies. He has used more than 50 aliases--some male, most female--and has served time in 11 states, including in women�s jails, for crimes such as theft and forgery.

Fullers said he fooled Lorain County jail officials at first by hiding his genitals.

He served 127 days in the Lorain County jail before pleading guilty and will serve the last 52 days of his six-month sentence in the Lorain Correctional Facility.

k.d. down under

Sydney�Lesbian chanteuse k.d. lang will perform during the time of remembrance at the opening ceremonies of the Gay Games on November 2.

The Gay Games will take place in over 40 venues across Australia�s gay mecca, accompanied by a cultural and arts festival covering the entire city.

Over 12,000 athletes have signed up to compete in the games, representing more than 70 countries.

Gov. Marie Bashir of New South Wales will be part of the opening ceremony, and Bea Arthur is scheduled to appear at the cultural festival, although organizers are reluctant to announce other celebrities who have signed on for the even, which will run until November 9.

�What�s wonderful about kd is that she�s loved by lesbians, gay men, and straights alike,� director of ceremonies Ignatius Jones told the Daily Telegraph. �She�s the perfect choice for what is going to be one fabulous night.�

Three quadruplets go home

Lexington, Ky.�Three of the quadruplets born to a surrogate mother for a gay male couple in late July went home with the men on August 27.

Jacob, Tristan and Taylor, the only girl in the bunch, are now safely ensconced in the home of Thomas Dysarz and Michael Meehan, owners of the Planet Salons. Michael Jr., named for his and his siblings� biological father, will remain at the hospital for another week while staff make sure he can eat outside of the institutional setting.

Dysarz and Meehan plan to have more children by the same surrogate mother, perhaps starting again in as little as six months, this time with Dysarz as the biological father.

The mother has declined to be identified or interviewed.

The couple have hired a manager for one of their successful salons to give them more time to spend with their brood, and have begun the process of hiring a nanny for the children.

The men are believed to be the first gay male couple to have quadruplets through in vitro fertilization.

 



Chicago, Toronto, Cleveland teams
top softball tournament

Detroit�s Pronto team faces Cleveland�s Mustangs in a seeding game on August 31 in the Brookside Reservation.
Photo: Anthony Glassman

 

Cleveland�Teams from Columbus, Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Toronto came to Cleveland over Labor Day weekend for the Midwest Invitational Softball Tournament.

The North Coast Athletic Association hosted two days of game play among four divisions, kicked off with a registration party on August 30 and wrapped up with a cruise aboard the Goodtime III. Games were played both in the Brookside Reservation on the west side and Gordon Park on the east side.

The Chicago Sidetrack Assault took the Division A championship, with the Columbus Connection nipping at their heels. In Division B play, Toronto Synergy came in second to the triumphant Cincinnati Shooters Cats. Division C saw the Cleveland Bounce Hardhitters edging out the neighboring Renegades, while the Cleveland Patio Punks beat out Snickers Tavern for the Division D championship.

�Teams from the United States and Canada helped make the tournament and the activities a great success,� said North Coast commissioner Curt Gage, noting that the tournament treated players to an Indians game as well as the cruise.

Next year�s tournament will be hosted by the Metro Detroit Softball League. More information on next year�s tournament is available at www.mdsl.org/mist.

 


 

Story 8

On top of the world

Artist Doug Fordyce is opening a  show, then a studio

Doug Fordyce is on top of the world these days. Fordyce, of Columbus, has his hands full as a professional artist, a graphics designer, a teacher, a businessman, and working on opening his own studio-cum-gallery space in October.

Starting September 11 and running through October, Fordyce�s most recent works will be on display at the Michael Orr Gallery on King Avenue in Columbus.

Fordyce is most excited by the most recent venture being undertaken by him and his partner David Jones.

In October they will be inaugurating Studio 16 at 431 West 3rd Avenue in Columbus. In addition to functioning as Fordyce�s studio, he and his partner will display other artists� works. He will also be offering classes and workshops all year round, giving back to the city he loves.

�Except for a brief stint in Newport, Rhode Island, I have spent the past eighteen plus years in Columbus,� he said.

During that brief stint away from home, Fordyce says he �needed to get away from my life for a while, to get some perspective and make some decisions. I spent my time there sitting on the beach with my journal, sketchbook and Walkman. I made a lot of discoveries about myself during that six months and came back to Columbus with the drive I needed to get on with making art.�

After leaving art school, he did some traveling in California and New England, including time spent in New York City and Boston. While visiting New York City in 1993 he �was amazed by the energy there.�

�After coming back from New York, I always feel as if I can do anything.� Pausing to catch his breath he adds, �As most artists aspire, I truly hope to exhibit my work there someday.�

Having caught the traveling bug, Fordyce spent a summer in Europe, mostly France, Italy and Belgium with a quick trip to Switzerland.

�Europe was incredible,� he gushes. �I think every artist should try to visit it. I learned so much just from seeing the places I had studied, seeing the art I had only seen in books.�

His worst memory from Europe involved �getting food poisoning and spending most of my first visit to the Louvre seeing its many bathrooms,� he jokes.

In 1997, he graduated from Ohio State University with a BFA in painting and drawing. He chose OSU despite being accepted to the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and Parsons in New York City because, �I was in a pretty serious relationship at the time, and we decided to try rehabbing a house together.�

Fordyce has �been drawing for as long as I can remember.�

�My parents were always very supportive of my art from a very early age. My mother enrolled me in an adult college outreach oil painting class when I was in the fourth grade. She would drive me there each week and then sit off to the side reading a book until I was finished.�

The Fordyce matriarch�s commitment to her son�s artistic leanings continued beyond childhood. �As I grew older,� Fordyce adds, �my mother became my best art critic. She has a very good eye and could point out problem areas in my work.�

His father too, has contributed to the artist in him. �My father has been a great carpenter for years and is a very precise and meticulous individual,� Fordyce explains. As a result of this character trait, the senior Fordyce has �kept all my watercolors and drawings matted for me.�

Having grown up in the country, Fordyce would pack up his watercolors and go hike in the woods and paint old abandoned houses or plants that he found in the woods and forests.

Fordyce says, �There were always peaceful places to retreat to and be alone with my art.�

�My work is often about calm, often about feeling that peace. But because I don�t produce work that directly represents that, I must get my viewer to feel that feeling based on my colors, my shapes, my brushstrokes,� he explains. �In order for this to occur, I need to feel these things when I paint.�

One of his favorite quotes of all time is what Robert Henri said in The Art Spirit: �The brush stroke at the moment of contact carries inevitably the exact state of the artist at that moment into the work, and there it is, to be seen and read by those who can read such signs, and to be read later by the artist himself, with perhaps some surprise, as a revelation of himself.�

Fordyce�s most recent oeuvre is a result of abstracting the figurative world. �I�ve spent many years drawing and painting the figure representationally,� he explains, �but in the past few years, I have begun to abstract my work, pulling the figure along with me.�

Fordyce�s paintings are created with a unique technique. He says, �I created a tool that transformed my years of representational expression into a fluid abstraction free from the confines of realism. The tool is a four-foot piece of wood with holes drilled at random locations. Beside each hole is a nail partially driven into the surface. Pencils and brushes can be stuck into the holes and secured by clipping them to the corresponding nails. I use the tool to create drawings. My only conscious thought is to create shapes of a figurative nature. I use pencils and brushes of varying thickness, hardness, and sometimes, color. The tool moves across the drawing surface, creating repeated lines, shapes and uncontrolled random marks.�

He adds, �I have also found that many of my recent pieces place the figures against dramatic backdrops of sky and clouds. The unintentional landscapes establish a correspondence between man and nature that reflects the tension and harmony of existence.�

The cool of the blues and greens is complimented and put into tension by reds, oranges, and siennas �to achieve a sense of warmth that alternately reflects onto and radiates from within the figure.�

Fordyce has a proclivity for worn objects, which also manifests itself in his work. He explains that, �By layering color, often beginning with a dark solid background and laying a lighter wash of color on top, allowing the dark to come through in areas, I set a ground that feels aged. Once the ground is established, corrosion is suggested by removing sections of the �finished� surface. The work is given a patina that imbues a sense of discovery. Abstraction and modernism are blended with an oxidation realized by paint instead of air. I hope in the larger blue oils the viewer recognizes an effect similar to the oxidation of bronze in ancient Chinese vessels and mirrors.�

In addressing the emotional qualities of his paintings, he says, �Sometimes I hope to convey a feeling of sadness or melancholy and other times feelings of joy and celebration.�

Thematically, he says that he�s �also been attempting to portray universally recognized themes. For example, the change of seasons and what moods or emotions are associated with these times. Another example would be the coming of rain, the darkness of the storm approaching combined with the relief of knowing that the rain will wash away the grayness and leave a fresh beginning.�

Another recurring theme for Fordyce is the �spiritual quality of life. I often show areas of extreme chaos and struggle, figures overlapping and then contrast this with an area of simplicity, few figures enveloped in soothing color.�

In discussing his work he concludes by saying that, �I hope for viewers to leave my work with a sense of calm, a feeling of stopping for a one moment to see the beauty of life. We all struggle with life in one way or another, but without the struggle, there would be no comparison, no way to realize how wonderful the calm can be.�

Painting is special to Fordyce because he can get lost in his painting. He says, �Sitting down in front of a canvas that I�ve been working on, thinking about the subject matter, smelling the turpentine, feeling the smoothness of the paint on my brush, the texture of the layers already on the canvas, I can lose myself totally.� Extolling the therapeutic virtues of art, he adds that, �The stresses of my life and the world around me can just disappear while I am engrossed in my painting.� He concludes that, �The outcome of the painting is no longer important, just the act of painting.�

For more information about Fordyce�s show at the Michael Orr Gallery or about Studio 16 call 614-3531188 or visit www.studio16.net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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