dascola

Ernest Phillip Dascola and Mary Grace Root were my maternal grandparents. In a family overwhelmed with failed relationships and divorce, they serve as my only example of a love that withstood the test of time. My grandpa Ernie was a barber in Ann Arbor for nearly the entirety of his life. He was one of the happiest people I ever met. Always there with stolen sugar packets from the morning’s trip to the coffee shop and of course a warm and silly smile. He was killed by a brain aneurysm in 2002. Although I spent ten years with him, I have trouble recalling distinctive memories of my time with him. This upsets me, but through stories and the memories of my relatives, I also will always know that he was an amazing father, grandfather, barber, jokester and overall a unique and kind individual. His wife, Mary was unique and memorable in other ways. She was not always bubbly and silly like grandpa was, but she had a truly warm heart. She spent her life as a mother and wife, in true catholic tradition, but I do not remember her ever speaking of any regrets. She passed away in 2008 after a diagnosis of terminal stomach cancer. I distinctly remember sitting in her apartment working on a final art project the day before she passed. I wish I had known then that I would only have her in my life for 24 more hours, because at the time, it seemed as if she would live forever. We shared many loves, including the magnificent Mrs. Paula Dean. As a child, I could always count on grandma to pick me up from school if I was sick, or to cook me the best grilled cheese when I was feeling down. I do not consider myself a devoutly religious person, but I am spiritual and know that their presences resonate daily in my life. I hope they are proud of me, and understand how much I appreciate the love they showered our family with, as well as the love I still hold for them.

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University of Michigan Employee Art Exhibition
140 works of art. 69 artists. 38 First-time submissions, including 19 family members of staff

I was fortunate to have two of my pieces accepted to the Gifts of Art Employee Art Exhibition. I won Honorable Mention for “Catching Happy” in the Upcycled/Repurposed category. Dr. Pescovitz hosted the event, and she recently wrote an article about her experience. Read an excerpt below.


This year, I was honored to participate in Gifts of Art’s 25th Anniversary Employee Art Exhibition in two meaningful ways. First, I was delighted to co-host the Sept. 11 awards presentation and second, since I am not an artist myself, I submitted one of my late husband’s photographs to the show. To see such exceptional creative work by UMHS faculty and staff was truly inspiring. If you have an opportunity to view this exhibit, which is on display in South Taubman Lobby, Floor 1, through October 8, I encourage you to do so. I’ve always believed that art and medicine are interconnected, and that the practice of art and the practice of medicine are strikingly similar. Both start with the act of observation – reflecting on an existing idea, theory or problem – and then finding a way to express that existing notion in a novel way and with new vision. Read more

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2012 University of Michigan Health System Employee Art Exhibition

One of the first and most comprehensive arts in healthcare programs nationwide, Gifts of Art brings the world of art & music to the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS). During times of stress and illness, the arts have the power to nurture and engage. Gifts of Art programs utilize the arts to assist and enhance the healing process, reduce stress, support human dignity and renew the spirit.

This year, Gifts of Art celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Employee Art Exhibition! This eagerly anticipated annual exhibition showcases the exceptional talent and creativity of UMHS employees and volunteers. 

The exhibition will be juried by Dr. Robert Kelch, Executive Vice President Emeritus for Medical Affairs. There will be prizes and ribbon awards for Best in Category and Best in Show. A People’s Choice award will be determined by the votes of visitors to the exhibit. Awards will be given at the Artist Reception & Award Ceremony, hosted by Dr. Ora H. Pescovitz, current Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs.

The Employee Art Exhibition will be on display: 
August 20-October 8, 2012 
Gifts of Art Gallery – Taubman Health Center 
South Lobby, Floor 1
1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

"Catching Happy"

This is a collage I did in 2009 in honor of my mother who died from breast cancer in 2007. I call it, “Catching Happy,” and it’s made from a mix of fabric, jewelry, silk, paper, and love.

I live. I laugh. I dream. I love. I am.


Update: This is one of two of my pieces showing in the 25th Anniversary of the University of Michigan Health System Employee Art Exhibition. The show runs Aug. 20-Oct.8, 2012.

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140 works of art. 69 artists. 38 First-time submissions, including 19 family members of staff.

The 25th University of Michigan Health System Employee Art Exhibit reception was held Tuesday, September 11, and awards for Best in Category, Best in Show, and People’s Choice were announced.

I am pleased to tell you that I received the Honorable Mention Award in the Upcycled/Repurposed category for “Catching Happy.” That work is a collage I did in honor of my mother who died from breast cancer in 2007 (that’s her in the photo). It is made from a mix of vintage fabric, jewelry, paper, and love. I live. I laugh. I dream. I love. I am.

The show was sponsored by the Gifts of Art Program, judged by Bob Kelch, M.D., emeritus executive VP for medical affairs and photographer, and the awards were announced by Ora Pescovitz, M.D., executive VP for medical affairs.

See the entire list of winners.

Read the UMHS press release.

“In the Bubble” is a mixed media collage that I made from fabric, paper, thread, and glass. It's based on the ending of Ulysses by James Joyce and a pic I found on dreambrothersoulsister’s blog. Finished it yesterday. Happy now. <3 

Update: This is one of two of my pieces showing in the 25th Anniversary of the University of Michigan Health System Employee Art Exhibition. The show runs Aug. 20-Oct.8, 2012.