When I was contacted with the invitation to be a part of ArtCan 2016, as I was in 2013, my first thought was, –Another invitation, another story about cancer.' In all honesty, I hoped the submission deadline would pass so I would not have to tell yet another story about how cancer has touched my life, and in a weak moment, I almost let it pass. I didn't however, because I felt compelled to honor all who suffer. The only way I know how is through my art, thank you ArtCan.
My dearest friend of 45 years, Gregory Valloni, fights for his life every day he wakes up and goes to work. He was diagnosed two years ago with Multiple Myeloma and is 60 years old. Despite the fact that he has faced his cancer head on, and has undergone every treatment imaginable (most of which is highly unpleasant and incredibly painful), his cancer has come back. As I've watched him live with this disease, I've been inspired by his unwavering willingness to continue giving to others. His selflessness defines his being.
With his sharp wit, and unrelenting humor, Greg has kept me laughing since 7th grade.
We speak regularly, (he in NY and I in ATL.) and I cherish these daily conversations. Within our communication, I so often, forget how much pain he is in on a daily basis because we are constantly laughing, reliving times past and projecting about the future. Only when our conversation ends does my sadness return and reality sets back in.
I garner his strength and his courage to be blessed with another day. I love him dearly.
Born and bred in New York, Joseph currently lives and works in Roswell, GA with his wife, Carole. When he's not consumed with art, work and family, he spends his time volunteering with his favorite charities and giving his time to "anyone else who needs his help." Joseph is self learned, his career started in NYC 35 years ago. He did what it took (hard work and perseverance) to garner respect from other artists of his profession. Since the beginning of his career he has managed, built and owned award winning studios throughout the years. In the last decade he has focused his attention on fine art projects and more personal aspirations.