Greenpoint Gazette

New Art Exhibition to Take Aim at Kidney Disease

BY Tanay Warerkar

In her battle to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis, renal disease, and the broader theme of fighting against adversity, Christina Thomas, the artist behind the Speak Your Truth Project, is putting together a new show to raise money for her dialysis treatment.

#Christy’sKidney, will feature 19 paintings that Thomas has painted over the course of her artistic career. The number is reflective of the number of people who die waiting for a kidney everyday, according to Thomas.

Proceeds from the show will go towards Thomas’ home dialysis expenses as well as towards ongoing research in the development of a synthetic kidney.

Thomas was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2011, and two years later received the news that she was suffering from End Stage Renal Disease.

Thomas decided to pursue painting as an alternative to physical therapy. Today she receives 3.5 hours sessions of dialysis four times a week, and this is the time that she uses to create her work. She works for the most part with acrylic and ink and this time around her work features everything from text to paintings that have been created using tissue and then dyed with ink.

“They speak to the silence and smallness that one feels when they are having medical procedures and tests,” said Thomas in a written statement.

Paintings will sell for $500 and under.

Thomas started the Speak Your Truth project along with her partner Nieta Greene in 2011, after receiving her diagnosis. Today the art collective serves not just as a means to battle her own illness and raise awareness but also as a platform for other artists who have faced adversity in their lives.

Saturday’s event, which will be held at Standard Toykraft on Metropolitan Avenue, will also feature performances from spoken word artists like Ms. Reign, Cecilia Falls, QuYahni Lewis, and Shye Sales, the last of whom will be putting together a one woman show which examines a woman’s journey into adulthood in the face of adversity and examines the legacy she leaves for her children.

In addition, the show will also feature musical performances by the rapper Kiddo, and the singer-songwriter Gerard Gerard who sings about overcoming difficulties growing up in the South Bronx.

#Christy’sKidney, May 30, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Standard Toykraft, 722 Metropolitan Avenue, to purchase tickets for the event visit http://christyskidneydonations.brownpapertickets.com/ and to learn more about Speak Your Truth visit https://speakyourtruthinfo.wordpress.com/.

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