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Mebane, NC, United States
My wife Emily and I currently live in Mebane, NC with our son Evan. I am actively accepting commissions at this time. You may request work by contacting me at artisservant@gmail.com. I currently charge $200 for 11x14 drawings and $150 for 8x10s. I sell prints of my work for $25 for 11x14 and $15 for 8x10. I hope that you will enjoy the works here displayed, and that you will contact me with your comments at artisservant@gmail.com - January 5th, 2015

Monday, January 05, 2015

A Great Man and a Great Physician

This is one of my heroes, Dr. Jay Arena, whom I was able to learn about thanks to my good friends, his Granddaughter Megan Smith and his daughter Jeannie Arena-Smith. I am very grateful that they shared their deep reverence and love for Dr. Arena with me. He is truly a heroic figure who has left a shining legacy for Duke Medicine to live up to. I am going to be using this drawing of Dr. Arena for a poster, and probably some trainings here at Duke related to our "Living Our Values" campaign. Dr. Arena, a "relentless advocate for children," was an absolute dynamo of patient safety as a Pediatrician, and his work led to many advances in safety for patients in general, the most notable of these being the establishment of the first poison control centers in our country, and the development of the child proof safety cap. I am pasting a great write up about one of Dr. Arena's many crusades on behalf of pediatric patients. Of note, Dr. Arena was a devout Catholic and a Daily Mass attendee. The image I thought was perfect, because it captures Dr. Arena's love for his patients. ----- In May 1948 two children were admitted to Duke Hospital within two days, one two and the other four years old. Each had eaten a full bottle of the newly developed St. Joseph’s flavored aspirin for children as if the pills were candy. Both died from aspirin poisoning, as did more than 400 children across the nation in two years. Jay M. Arena, MD, professor of pediatrics at Duke and a relentless advocate for children, called Abe Plough, the president of Plough, Inc., makers of St. Joseph’s aspirin, to talk with him about the deaths he had just witnessed. When Plough said that he had heard rumors that children had died from their product, Arena exploded into the phone that it wasn’t a rumor but a sad fact. Their flavored aspirin was a wonderful product, but it caused problems everywhere, and the answer might be as simple as developing safety closures for aspirin bottles. Plough ordered his company to develop safety caps, which Arena tested with the families of his young patients in Durham. He recommended the one cap he believed was best, and Plough followed his advice. Children’s deaths from aspirin poisoning fell immediately. Later Arena convinced Plough to lower the number of tablets in each bottle from 100 to 35 and to reduce the dose in each tablet down to 1 1/2 grains, making an entire bottle non-lethal for a child of two. Their work led to Congress enacting laws in 1972 requiring that all medications be put in bottles with safety closures unless a consumer requested otherwise. The law also mandated that all household products be sold in containers with safety closures and proper labeling. Arena considered the legislation his most satisfying accomplishment.

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I appreciate your time and your interest in my work. If you are interested in knowing more about me and my philosophy of art, please feel free to scroll to the bottom of this page. I would rather spare those who have no interest in such things from having to read about me before looking at my work. God bless you :)

The Vocation of the Artist

I firmly believe that art is meant to serve others, especially in lifting the hearts of people, through "ephiphanies of beauty," (John Paul II's letter to artists) to the contemplation and the glory of God. The artist participates in a unique way in the inspiration of the Creator of all things, and knows something of His joy in the act of creation, for "the act of creation is an act of love."(The Agony and the Ecstacy) This act is essentially bound up with the mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus, in which what had been invisible was made visible in His person, His life and work, and finally in His death and resurrection. The artist is exhorted by the very perception of his gift to its service. Art is not merely, nor should it ever be, a vehicle for selfish ends or cheap shock and awe, but it must seek to give joy to the lives of others. The artist is then in the end merely a servant of truth, beauty, and goodness, and his work must serve to convey these to a wider audience. "Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 15-16)I believe that the artist finds in the lives of Jesus, and of His foster father Joseph, essential role models, especially in their hidden life at Nazareth. Though very little is handed down to us in the Gospels or in tradition illuminating this period in Jesus' life, I believe that this hidden, simple, carpenter's life of "working quietly" (2 Thessalonians 3:11) can be a model for all artists, in which delight is daily sought in the manifestation of beauty in wood, paint, charcoal, dance, the stage, and music. This is a life of humility, where the artist freely accepts that this world, including his own work, "will pass away," (Matt. 24:35) but what it points to never will. Obedience to inspiration, especially as it is inspired by God's Word (itself the revelatory self-expression of God) is the artist's highest calling. This new site is dedicated to this higher calling of the artist, to this challenge.

You will find included in this site examples of my own work, as well as links to other sites which
celebrate the arts, and especially challenge the artist to reach the fullness of his own abilities
in the service of something greater than him or his work. I hope that you will enjoy this site, and
take full advantage of its links, especially the Letter to Artists of our Holy Father (of beloved memory) John Paul II. Thank you for your comments and your consideration of this website.

David Myers