A very big part of what I do is advocate for people living with a disease I have called Ankylosing Spondylitis. I also consider myself a health activist and use social media to raise awareness of health issues and topics. On my blog you will find some posts where I share about how this affects my life and how I choose to accept and adjust to the limitations it causes. I also speak on chronic pain, relationships and intimacy when one partner is diagnosed with a chronic illness, and how art can be used as a vehicle for social good. Please see my link about speaking topics or feel free to contact me with a special project. I develop creative grassroots projects to connect with my community and spread the word about autoimmune arthritis. Here are a few of the projects I envisioned, created, implemented and continue to develop. Do you have a creative project you’d like help implementing? Let’s Talk!
Two years ago I started the year long Art Apple A Day project and painted 365 Apples For AS! On the anniversary of the start of my apple love affair, I am announced the next step in this journey – Apples For A Cure!
Apples For A Cure is an idea I came up with a few months after I started creating the daily Apples For AS. It was one of my long term goals to be able to continue to use apples as a way to talk about living well with disease, incorporate health and wellness into any discussion of chronic illness, and a big picture way to encompass everyone and move towards the ultimate goal – a CURE! Awareness ribbons are for awareness. I feel that the time is now to move into actively working towards cures and what better symbol could there be to speak of curing illness than the ultimate symbol of health – the apple!
A Blue Apple is for Spondylitis & Arthritis. A yellow apple for cancer, a red apple for HIV/Aids for example. Each disease has a color or a combination of colors. To see a list – check out awareness colors here. Apples For A Cure will use apple images in disease awareness colors to instantly create a symbol for that particular disease cure! Let’s move beyond speaking of awareness and focus on how we can truly keep the doctor away – with CURES!
Year one of Apples For A Cure begins today October 1, 2012 and we of course launch it with Blue Apples!
To celebrate I will be painting and posting and giving away an original blue spondylitis or arthritis apple or any of the diseases that use BLUE as their awareness color. Everyday for the next 31 days I will pick an apple submission out of the apple crate and share who will be receiving that day’s apple!
So now you are wondering how I’ll choose – well, I won’t – YOU will. Here’s how…
And here is the page where you can see the apples that were created and who they went to.
The most recent project was a huge success! We had over 25 teams register and over the 10 week walk we reached our goal of circling the globe in steps made in the name of Ankylosing Spondylitis! Wow – never underestimate the power of people.
The Apples For AS Awareness Project began October 1, 2010 with the year long Art Apple A Day Project. Jennifer Dye Visscher was looking for a way to help bring awareness to a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. This is an archived website to showcase the 365 posts and apples. It is a place created using art, pop culture, and stories of living with chronic illness in a positive and unique way Please browse away and feel free to sign up for The Apple Newsletter or visit The Feeding Edge for Jenna’s current projects and art. The following are various projects within the Apples For AS Campaign.
Guest Artist Apples page has apple art created by you – friends, family, loved ones, and anyone who wishes to support the “Apples For AS” project. Any apple we receive at The Feeding Edge is included under this category – we are all artists! Please send us your apple and we will happily add it to this page! Thank you.
Artist Jennifer Dye Visscher, creator of “The Feeding Edge” web site and co-creator of the “Hope and Apples” campaign to raise AS awareness, is today announcing a new fund raising initiative. The fund-raiser will take place on September 30th, 2011, the date on which Ms. Visscher will end her year-long art project, “An Apple a Day to raise AS Awareness.” The project has been a fruitful one; Ms Visscher, or Jenna, as she is known to her friends, has created a new painting every single day since October 1, 2010, featuring some variation of an apple. These beautiful, stylized apples graced the cover of this year’s Annual Report of the Spondylitis Association of America, became a popular meme during the run-up to World AS Day in May and were used as the emblem for the Australian Physiotherapy’s educational seminar series that went LIVE via global web-cast earlier this year. Her apples have been adopted all across the social media landscape as a symbol of the fight to raise Ankylosing Spondylitis awareness worldwide. According to the CDC, Ankylosing Spondylitis may affect as many as 2.4 million Americans. It is said to affect nearly 33 million people worldwide. The apple was chosen by Jenna as her inspirational theme for a number of reasons; not the least of which was the old saying, “An Apple a Day keeps the doctor away”, which continues to resonate in this day and age because of the apple’s anti-inflammatory properties and its recent super food classification. It also helps that the image of an apple is something Jenna could create over and over again with new and different styles, motifs and colors. As of today, Jenna has created her 365 apples over the past 12 months in every form from collage to pastel to acrylics, often with pop culture and historical references and motivational quotes as her inspiration. Additionally she painted over 150 apples to raise money for the Spondylitis Association of America. You can see images of all 365 art-apple-a-day paintings by visiting the archived apples at ArtAppleADay.com or here on The Feeding Edge.
Jenna’s plans for the final day of her project, included a marathon 24 hour paint-a-thon. She and a team of volunteers painted hundreds of art apples in a 24 hour period to raise funds for Ankylosing Spondylitis education & research. Fittingly, this final project will took place in ‘the Big Apple’, New York City, and the entire marathon was shared to Jenna’s Facebook page and twitter so that people were able to post encouragement and cheer her on as she competed an incredible 365 day commitment to raising AS awareness through the power of art. Schedule of Events Printable Document with Schedule, Donation Information, and How To Participate Virtually Reserve Your Apple Now!
Hope & Apples was created as a place for people living with Spondyloarthritis to share their stories. It was made by the community for the community. Please read the stories here, learn a bit about autoimmune arthritis, and help us raise our collective voice by sharing this site with others. The 2010 Campaign was a huge success with 100 stories and apples contributed to the effort and spotlighted on World AS Day. To see more about the Hope & Apples campaign please please visit the website. www.hopeandapples.com