Courtney Hamm, ©Tony Gale
Canada or USA, that summarizes Courtney Hamm. Views of imagery and creativity flow no matter what the question. Courtney has passion for what he thinks, that is transferred through what he sees.
nominated and described by Kayla Lindquist
Minako Yoshino, artist ©Tony Gale
My precious friend Minako first visited New York from her native Japan in the summer of 2001. While attending classes at The Art Students League; her keen eye for color matching and mixing of paints caught the attention of a fellow student. He was in need of help with the painting portion of a landmark building restoration job for the City of New York in the financial district of Manhattan. Minako happily and very successfully complied.
The following day at JFK, bags checked and awaiting her departure flight back to Japan, she received a call on her cell phone. The construction company wanted her, and made a considerable job offer. A whirlwind trip back home to say goodbye to friends and family, she found herself returning to NYC, just days before the 9/11/2001 tragedy.
Toward the end of the restoration project Minako noticed large blocks of beautiful marble being trashed as part of the demolition of the building. This proved to be the source of raw materials for her initial attempt at sculpture. Incredibly her first finished piece sold almost immediately and brought her an award from the National Sculpture Society, and birthed her career.
She has since successfully restored the landmark sculptures of the Hearst Tower façade, and was featured in the New York Times. Her paintings have been commissioned by the United Nations.
Minako lives and works in her Bushwick, Brooklyn studio, carving marble sculpture and painting. She has received a letter of recognition from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 2012 she completed the marble statue series “For Japan”, a tribute to her mother country following the 3/11/2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis. Her compassion and warm smile add to her amazing gifts she freely shares with all the people she encounters.
Nominated and described by John Dessereau Sr
Vic Calise, paralympian, Accessibility Coordinator NYC parks ©Tony Gale
Vic is a paraplegic; he was injured in a mountain Biking accident almost 18 years ago in Forest Park, Queens. We became friendly about 2 years after his injury. When you speak to Vic for about 2 minutes you forget that he is in a wheelchair and you think of him as someone who can do anything that you or I could do. And he does. We have two young daughters, 9 and 6, and they think their Dad can do or fix anything. He is a disabled athlete who competed in the Winter Paralympics games in Nagano, Japan in 1998 and who has stayed involved in the sport of sled hockey since. He works for NYC parks as the ADA coordinator to make all parks accessible to people with disabilities. He also organizes events throughout the 5 boros for kids with disabilities. He is frequently asked to speak at different events and organizations around the city. He is also about to complete his Masters degree all while being totally involved in our daughters activities (soccer coach) and working full time. And he has a great personality, most everyone who meets him is drawn to him in some way.
Nominated and described by Susan Calise
Michael Nichols, dog trainer. At his home in Bellingham, WA©Tony Gale
Michael Nichols is a professional dog trainer with his own business, Positive Canine Guidance. After adopting Iggy, his bullmastiff, Michael asked for help from a trainer who wouldn’t even meet with Iggy and Michael. At that moment, his life’s work was set: to train Iggy and help other people with their challenging dogs. His favorite moment is when the dog understands what’s being asked. “I’m communicating with another species,” Michael says, and his eyes light up. Michael’s generous spirit has led to his work with the Whatcom Humane Society and other animal rescue organizations. You can see a video of Michael and Iggy here and on his website .
Nominated and described by Sarah Pearson
Catherine Todorov, photographed along the Cowlitz River. ©Tony Gale
All too often people are defined by what they do rather than who they are. What makes Catherine interesting has more to do with who she is than what she does. She is often described as an old soul. Wise beyond her years, she has a silent strength that most people can only dream of having. After having battled her own inner demons at an early age, she has risen above to become an example to her friends and family of the power of sheer will and tenacity. She has not let herself be defined by these early experiences and is the first to lend a sympathetic ear. But don’t mistake this for passivity, she is one fiesty lady! As a new mother, she exudes a serene happiness in the role she was meant to play.
Troy Campbell, photographed in Times Square ©Tony Gale
I met Troy in 2001 when we were both working at a small theatre in Maine. Not only does he craft properties for theatrical productions, but he is also a talented visual artist, a successful drummer/percussionist (he most recently played for Julia Haltigan and Hooligans, but in college he turned down playing with his fraternity brothers–who went on to be Hootie and The Blowfish,) is a former member of the Big Apple Circus and at the age of 40-something he graduated from Army boot camp last year.
He is a gentle soul who meanders across the country drumming, building and creating, but that is part of Troy’s allure. You never know where he will turn up next, or who he will be hanging out with or what cool things he is up to. I haven’t actually seen him in 6 years, but we still manage to keep in touch and I look forward to when our paths cross again. I know that when they do, we will share some beers, he will tell me some excellent stories and we will talk about art, music and the curious state of being.
Nominated and described by Lori Lynn Bollinger
Rebecca Jennings, in her office. ©Tony Gale
I started working for her 7 years ago in her house. just me and her. She threw away a really great job at the Milken Foundation
to start her own business because she wasn’t happy with a regular 9 – 5.
Now, she has this huge company
(Hips and Curves
) with tons of employees but she hasn’t changed at all. it’s a plus size lingerie company but she looks like a skinny supermodel! She loves making women feel good about themselves. There is a dance pole in the middle of the corporate office and she can do amazing pole tricks! We have wig days and marabou pump days and costume days. She is in the office
12+ hours a day and she is still always happy and excited about everything!
she is the photographer (she even takes the photos on the site) she is a writer, she is a freaking genius when it comes to internet
marketing and ecommerce. The thing that is so great is that even though she is like the busiest lady on the planet she still makes time for everyone in the company, even a customer service rep or an assistant.
Nominated and described by Marcy Ito
Austin McCormick, director. ©Tony Gale
Wow. Austin McCormick. The multi-talented Artistic Director of the Neo-Baroque theatrical dance group, Company XIV. A one-of-a-kind dynamo. Without question, Austin’s the most wildly creative genius that I’ve met in the 21st century. He’s been establishing himself as one of the top choreographers, directors and dancers in NYC. Austin’s shows feature the most original, imaginative and over the top performances that I’ve ever seen on a NY stage. Erotic, sensuous, risqué, dramatic and sumptuous are just some of the words that come to mind when I think about a show of his. It’s no wonder that his work has been praised by the likes of The NY Times, Black Book Magazine, Dance Magazine, The NY Post, Metro NY, and many others. Austin’s name should appear as the definition of original in the Oxford American Dictionary.
nominated and described by David Gibbs
Ariane Reinhart, photographed on her mother's bench in Riverside Park. ©Tony Gale
She is a performer who was asked how she deals with rejection at auditions, she replied, “every audition is a performance and I love to perform”. Also she is like a good bottle of red wine, each year she improves.
Nominated and described by Charles Reinhart