Friday, May 11, 2012

How the Pre-existing Condition Show Was Born


"Not My Type" by Zoey Stevens

Artist Zoey Stevens was diagnosed with Diabetes in 1999 at the age of 28. In 2002, due to being told he was Type 2, (therefore was not being properly treated), he went into diabetic keto-acidosis, or DKA. After spending 5 days in the hospital, getting the new diagnosis of Type 1 and learning how to give himself shots, he came home a different person.

In 2004 his wife Jennifer approached the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation with Zoey's press kit and a video of his live performances. She had a feeling that Zoey could use his gift somehow to help them to raise money. By 2010, Zoey had raised over $500,000 by donating portraits, murals and other paintings as well as performing live at JDRF Galas all over Southern California.

In 2008 Zoey was participating in a group art show in Las Vegas when he had an idea. He started to ask other Artists if they had been affected by Diabetes in any way, whether it be through a family member or friend. Not so much to his surprise, most said yes, they did indeed know someone with the disease. That's where the idea for the Pre-existing Condition Show began...

In March of 2009, the Pre-existing Condition Show opened at the Light Gallery in Costa Mesa, CA. El Presidente Tequila came out to provide the beverages, and there was a large crowd. Street Artist and OBEY Clothing founder Shepard Fairey donated 3 signed and numbered prints on paper straight from the OBEY vault, bringing in quite a few Art enthusiasts. Shepard is a Type 1 Diabetic, and donated these pieces at Zoey's request.

Many other well-known Artists such as Greg Simkins and Anthony Ausgang also put pieces in the show and of course Zoey Stevens painted several pieces for it as well. Overall the show is host to a wide range of styles and is a definite "must see".

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