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    Senegal

    Senegal

    A huge part of Artist Ryan Cronin’s artistic mission positions his work as a platform for globally-minded philanthropy.

    senegal ryan cronin

    Case-in-point: “The Box,” a portable, public art installation co-created by Cronin and Go Doc Go founder Maggie Carpenter, MD was originally inspired by Dr. Carpenter’s work in Haiti, Senegal and Ethiopia (You can read more about “The Box” here.)

    the box ryan cronin

    This past June, Cronin joined Go Doc Go for a routine visit to Senegal, where a great deal of Go Doc Go’s work happens.

    Last week, I sat down and caught up with Cronin to learn more about his time in Senegal, how it shifted his mindset as an socially-conscious artist-- and as a global citizen.

    Blake: Senegal! Wowza! How was it?

    Cronin: Senegal was the experience of my life so far; I don’t wanna say “lifetime” because it’s not my time yet. I’ve never traveled to a third world country before, so it was completely different to anything I’ve ever seen. Culturally, socially, visually… it was right up my alley. I fit in: the pace. Life is about survival, and there’s a beauty in that, when it’s stripped down to its simplest. The environment was bare minimum. Extreme poverty and struggle is real, I understand that, but it was a reminder of how simple life really can be. It was humbling.

    senegal ryan cronin

    Blake: How did it differ from the original picture you painted in your mind?

    Cronin: Honestly? I thought it was going to be a little more polished, but it was rugged. We even stayed in nice hotels with running water, and we were taken care of, but I kept thinking, “Holy shit, this is a huge city, and there’s livestock everywhere. I kept wondering who has electricity, who has running water, what are their living conditions like? There were kids kicking soccer balls around, for hours and hours and life was happening. Everything was hand-painted, police cars, street signs. You see the presence of individuality in that and the absence of mass production. Coming from the Western World, you see people living in rugged conditions and then everyone is dressed so nice. The women were wearing beautiful dresses and the men were wearing collared shirts and nice shoes. There’s a high regard for one’s self-image there. It said a lot to me about the idea of poverty and how people perceive it.

    senegal ryan cronin

    Blake: What was your original reason for going-- and did you leave with something different?

    Cronin: I’ve worked with Go Doc Go for over a year now in the States, and I wanted to experience what they do on the ground in other countries. I was able to witness the work they do firsthand in the hospital, which was incredible, but also had time to wander and explore and interact with the community.

    senegal ryan cronin

    Blake: Was this experience something you feel has threaded itself into your larger artistic narrative?

    Cronin: Definitely. Maggie (Carpenter) was always like, “You have to go,” and now I know why. It’s truly a beautiful place: a truck driver making his truck look like his own, decorating it with his own hand. It was so individualistic and captures so much. Seeing that and seeing how the public took that in. There was art everywhere.

    senegal ryan cronin 
    Blake: You’ve been painting for so many years and you went there with just a camera. How was that?

    Cronin: Capturing a moment through a device vs creating paintings from from my mind, heart, and soul allowed me to secure the moment in time from that perspective. I used the camera as a sketchbook. It’s not the picture itself. It’s the memory and the interpretation to translate the idea into a painting.

    senegal ryan cronin

    Blake: Is there a piece in the works based on your voyage to Senegal?

    Cronin: Yep, it’s a new piece called “Self/Group Portrait As Senegal Man and Westport.” It’s a loose commentary on my experience versus our new experience in Westport: you couldn’t find two more different places on the Earth. I’m also starting another piece directly related to some of the visuals from the trip. We drove a lot, so I saw the backs of a lot of trucks, and they were really beautiful. To me, the backs of these trucks were a piece in and of themselves. Ultimately, I’d like to get a full show together and raise some money for Go Doc Go, in the fall.

    senegal ryan cronin

    For more info or to donate to “The Box,” click here. #FollowTheBox

    For more info on Go Doc Go, click here.

    To see more photos from Artist Ryan Cronin’s adventure to Senegal, visit our Facebook page.

    We've been pondering patronage.

    support art ryan cronin

    At CronArtUSA, we’re constantly reminding ourselves to lean into our main mission of F-U-N. We see art as not just a commodity or luxury-- but as a necessity. A universal need that links communities, cultures, and ideas together, under the banner of understanding. With art, we see the best and the worst of ourselves-- and through art, we find our collective consciousnesses connected. Art enables us to reach across aisles and shake hands and listen and make sense of our differences. It allows us to breathe, gives us the courage to speak, and provides an escape into the imagination, in ways that no other industry can. In art, we are able to question our beliefs, shift our perspective, and grow as responsible, curious, and engaged humans of the planet.

    untitled ryan cronin

    Art is one of the greatest wonders in the world, and we believe that the people who create that kind of work for humanity are just as important as the banker or the lawyer or the politician. Everyday, when the artist wakes up and steps up to his/her/their canvas (or in Artist Ryan Cronin’s case, board), onto the stage, or into the pages of the next great human novel, it’s a risk: perhaps the work won’t ever be seen. Or heard. Or understood-- or at the very least, respected. Then again, this isn’t news: post-Renaissance thinking steered away from the artist (the creator of the art), and focused on the art itself. The artist-patron model-- and the kind of jobs it unearthed-- vanished and was replaced with a funding model that focused on a piece or a collection, rather than an investment in the artist and his/her longevity.

    the man complete ryan cronin

    However, with recent threats to the NEA-- and a general societal shift into the digital age-- the patronage model is making a strong comeback, as observed by Jennifer Miller in a New York Times article from May of last year, wherein she notes a strong “emblematic of a shift in how some arts enthusiasts, from wealthy individuals to grant-making foundations, are relating to creators.” Rather than placing sole focus on artistic consumption, by which art is viewed without much more than a nod of financial respect to the artist, the patronage model has slowly been making a triumphant return, “...reminiscent of the Renaissance, when royal houses provided room, board, materials and important professional connections to talented artists of the day,” cites Miller. (In other words, patrons help artists prosper.)

    When the opportunity to open up a second CronArtUSA location landed in our laps, we had thought long and hard about choosing a place. Strategically-speaking, we had to look at historical trends and where artists were choosing to go based on the communities that welcomed them-- and invested in them. When it came down to it, Westport, with its rich history of artist patronage, was the logical next step in Ryan’s journey to discovering a new audience.

    artist ryan cronin

    And within the first week of our time in Westport, it’s become clear: we chose right. The Westport population hasn’t merely shown interest in the art itself: they’ve asked about the person behind the art. It’s been a solvent, fervent reminder of why we do what we do, reminiscent of the discovery of our first tribe (we love New Paltz and to this day can’t believe how lucky we are to have made our home there): art isn’t just to be looked at; it’s to be consumed, a message to digest and take with you, to encourage you think and grow and stretch and wonder.

    westport gallery cronartusa

    And have fun doing it. The conversations we’ve had with our new constituency about the joy, hope, and general F-U-N behind each and every one of Ryan’s works have given us new drive with a new perspective: art is necessary everywhere. And more and more, people are realizing this crucial necessity in this current social, political, and cultural climate. In this time of need, a new wave of patrons have stepped forward to help lead the charge. They’re paving the way for a new generation of artists to succeed and strengthen our communities with what they need: art. Much like our first gallery, located in the charming Water Street Market in New Paltz, NY, our neighbors want to see us expand and spread because they know that our work is just as important as the work of the bankers or lawyers or politicians-- or doctors, teachers, plumbers, electricians, waitresses, and all of the other important jobs that make an accessible, prosperous, beautiful community function.

    And for that, we’re very grateful indeed.

    john cookie cutters cronartusa

    Interested in becoming a patron of Ryan’s work? Come see us sometime: our house is your home. We’re located at 31 Church Lane in Downtown Westport and 10 Main Street at the Water Street Market, New Paltz, NY.

    In the meantime, learn more about the man behind the work: meet Artist Ryan Cronin.

    - Blake Pfeil, Operations @ CronArtUSA

    "The Box" Returns to Brooklyn This Weekend, June 23rd

    WE FEEL LUCKY
    When it comes to partnerships, we’re lucky.

    It’s no secret: CronArtUSA is “working toward the greater good,” as Artist Ryan Cronin says about our mission. It’s why we started our 12 Months of Giving Fund in the first place, which is where our idea for “The Box” (our socially-conscious collaboration with current 12 Months of Giving Recipient Go Doc Go) even came from.the box ryan cronin

    And guess what? This weekend, in our latest partnerships with University Settlement and the LGBT Cancer Network, CronArtUSA and Go Doc Go are taking “The Box” out for a third spin: the East Flatbush Community Research School Carnival and Health Fair.

    ABOUT OUR NEWEST PARTNERSHIPS
    Alongside the East Flatbush Community Research School, University Settlement and the LGBT Cancer Network will present the East Flatbush Community Research School Carnival and Health Fair. Through a plethora of sponsors (including NYU Dentistry, NYC Emergency Management, NYC Department of Education, the National Kidney Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, among others), the block party-style fair will provide public health and legal services and consultations for local residents, including dental screenings, STI/HIV testing, benefits checks, as well as immigration and housing legal consultations; “The Box” will be present as one of the public services available throughout the day. Additionally, the festivities children’s activities (bouncy house, face painting, carnival games) as well as rides and food & drink. We are extremely excited to welcome the National LGBT Cancer Network to collaborate and expand our reach with “The Box.”

    lgbt cancer network university settlement

    The East Flatbush Community Research School Carnival and Health Fair will take place on E. 53rd Street (between Winthrop Street and Remsen Street) in Brooklyn, NY this Saturday, June 23rd, from 12:00pm-4:00pm (with a raindate of Saturday, June 30th, same time). Via the MTA Subway: 4 train to Utica Avenue Station, 15 minute walk to the fair. (To plug in your starting address for Google Map directions, click here.)


    ABOUT “THE BOX”
    A revolutionary intersection of art and medicine, “The Box” is a socially-conscious, collaborative, public art installation created by Ryan Cronin of CronArtUSA and Go Doc Go Founder Maggie Carpenter, MD.  “The Box” enables participants to circumvent the traditional pap smear used to screen for cervical cancer. Part self-collection space, part art space, “The Box” is a privacy booth installed in a public location that gives women a safe place to independently swab a sample to be tested for the HPV virus, the leading cause of cervical cancer. “The Box” bypasses traditional medical routes: No exam is necessary.

    the box ryan cronin go doc go

    Early detection is instrumental in preventing the development of cervical cancer. "The Box" had beta installations at the O+ Festival in Kingston, NY and the Old Stone House in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with future installations to come. Though too early in the sampling process to provide conclusive data, at both installations CronArtUSA and Go Doc Go found that 1 in 8 women who self-swabbed in “The Box” tested positive for HPV.  It was this early detection that allowed for referral and further evaluation.

    As a forward-thinking intersection between art and medicine, “The Box” is a true collaboration. “It intricately marries our two professions, while challenging cultural norms of institutionalized control over medicine. This makes care accessible to all audiences, with a particular focus on reaching individuals who otherwise might not have access,” emphasizes Carpenter. “The potential to impact lives is so far reaching.”

    box brooklyn cronin go doc go

    We’re firm believers in F-U-N here at CronArtUSA-- which is why we sat down with "The Box" co-creators Artist Ryan Cronin & Go Doc Go Founder Maggie Carpenter, to learn more about their collaboration. Click below to watch and enjoy: 


    PS: Want to help make sure “The Box” can continue on its journey? Click here to donate to 12 Months of Giving. #FollowTheBox

    Who is "The Man?"

    Who is "The Man?"

    And as Father's Day approaches, I keep asking myself:
    What does it mean to be 'The Man?'
    - Artist Ryan Cronin

    "THE MAN"

    As he's been assembling his latest piece (working title "The Man"), Cronin's spent a lot of time pondering what it means to be "the man" in today's world. The phrase, after all, suggests someone of great status and high regard; someone to admire. Cronin shares his philosophy of what being "the man" means to him: "As a father I feel responsible to set an example for my kids and to teach them what 'the man' really is or better yet what it means to be human; to be present and confident, while approaching others with understanding, respect, and awareness, no matter who they are or where they come from."

    Who are the men in your life?
    How about the fathers?

    At CronArtUSA, we're committed to the reinvention of manhood, and part of that is sharing our latest product "The Man" t-shirt with you. Be a part of the art and share your own, redefined vision of manhood with the fathers in your life-- just in time for Father's Day on June 17th. Place your orders today (June 6th) to ensure they arrive in time!