George Mitchell (with HappymessART)

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How did the design for this satellite come about?

The design belongs to an artist I work with, George. It’s a painting of his. We have a GoFundMe account and we’re trying to raise money for him. He used to teach art; he was the first black man to get his MFA from UNC Chapel Hill and he started a series inspired by the 1996 Olympics and the tenacity of black athletes. There are eight pieces in the series now, though he had a total of 16 that he wanted to make. In 2003, he was assaulted by a family member and is now a paraplegic.

He now paints on a small-scale easel in bed. We’re trying to raise $10,000 to fund a sculpture that he wanted to make before his accident and to pay local artists to go sit with him so he can make a painting that they could then recreate on a larger scale. Kind of like an apprentice. I own an art supply shop, so we’re donating all the money we get from this event to him.

Is this the first time you’ve worked with George in this capacity?

Yes, this is the first time I’ve reproduce his art. It’s hard to try to recreate another’s art; luckily this was on a concave, large, round surface. However, I could never recreate it perfectly given the parameters of the satellite dish.