FASHION HAS HEART
November 12, 2013-January 25, 2014, Carrère Gallery
The Carrère Gallery is named after the architectural firm Carrère and Hastings which built the Forbes building.
Founded in 2010, FASHION HAS HEART is a non-partisan, non-profit organization established to utilize the powerful mediums of art, design, and fashion to support and benefit the wounded heroes who have sacrificed for American freedom. In addition to providing support for the creative expression process, the organization works to market each artist’s work to generate economic support for their future.
The exhibition comprises more than 20 works by artists from the Hero Series, a process that pairs a Hero with an Artist. Together, the two parties collaborate in order to share that hero’s story through the medium of art and design. The result of their work often becomes a saleable fashion item sold on the Fashion Has Heart website.
Eight wounded veterans are at the center of this year’s exhibition:
U.S. Army Captain James Van Thach - James enlisted in the Army shortly after graduating from Francis Lewis High School in 1994 and continued through his studies at St. John’s University and Touro Law Center, ultimately receiving both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. James suffered a traumatic brain injury, blurred vision and more damage to his back when he was caught in the crosshairs of a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.
Army Lt. Col. Kathryn Champion - A Bronze medal recipient, Katherine was medically discharged due to military-related injuries after serving for 27 years. She suffers from multiple sclerosis and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in addition to varying blindness in both of her eyes.
David Nicholson - After serving twelve years in the Navy, Dave went on to apply his skills as an aircraft mechanic for various corporate airlines, and eventually became a private contractor in support of military personnel in Afghanistan. While stationed in Afghanistan, Nicholson’s base came under attack. The result of the attack was the loss of most of his team members, as well as the loss of his legs.
Chris Wiers - Combat Engineer Chris Weirs was on his second deployment in 2005 as part of a lead security team for convoys. Weirs said he never heard the blast when his Humvee drove over an undetected IED. The two men in the front seats of his vehicle died instantly while Weirs was thrown from the vehicle, sustaining a myriad of injuries including two broken vertebrae, torn shoulder nerves, a radial head fracture on his left arm, and damage to both eyes, not to mention shrapnel covering his body.
Danielle Green Byrd - Army Specialist Danielle Green-Byrd is a former full-scholarship, star basketball player at Notre-Dame. Danielle was hit by a rocket propelled grenade while on patrol in Iraq. After regaining consciousness in the hospital, she discovered that her dominant left arm had been amputated. Danielle has since earned two master’s degrees.
Zulieka Cruz - Zulieka enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 18. In all, Zuleika was deployed to Iraq a total of three times. During her third deployment to Iraq, she was accidently crushed and severely injured in a warehouse when a 75 lb. box fell on her. The impact of the resulting fall left Cruz with a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.. That, combined with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has given Zuleika a long road to recovery.
Michael Bell - In 2007,while stationed with the U.S. Coast Guard in Detroit, Electrician’s Third Mate Michael Bell suffered a massive stroke, rendering the entire right side of his body paralyzed. He spent the next 18months rehabilitating, relearning how to walk, talk, eat, and do many other routine activities
Israel Del Toro - Tech Sergeant Israel Del Toro was en route to ambush Afghan insurgents when his Humvee rolled over a roadside bomb. He was burned over 80 percent of his body, nearly died three times while undergoing medical treatment, and was given only a 50 percent chance of survival. Doctors also never expected him to walk again or be able to breathe on his own. Against all odds, Del Toro left the hospital in three months and managed to reenlist in the Air Force, the first 100 percent combat disabled Air Force technician to do so.