Heart to Hip. Help Sean get surgery

36" x 54" stencil print on paper by Sean Day

Our friend Sean is from Detroit. He needs help. His hips are shot -- bone-on-bone worn out. For months he has been working through the pain to keep his kids in health insurance. Three weeks ago he could not get out of bed after another 12-hours-a-day, six-days-a-week work shift. The doctors said they could not understand how he had been able to even walk for the past year.  He needs new hips. He's laid up, in constant pain and waiting for surgery. He has no income and little savings.

Sean has been a produce delivery driver in Eastern Market, Detroit, for close to 20 years. All the lifting, pulling and rolling has broken his body -- but not his spirit.

This past summer Sean came into our workshop to make art. We saw that he walked with a limp and it would take him more than a few minutes to get up the 24 steps into our studio. But, there he was, every Saturday and some week nights after hours working on a stencil print.  Our workshop, Two Blacks Studio in Detroit, is a DIY, grassroots workspace where we teach anyone who wants to learn, how to make cut-by-hand stencil multiples on paper. 

What Sean made (a 9-color stencil print) is displayed here.  It's big and beautiful. The thing is, Sean has not been trained as an artist. Yet, as you can see, his color and compositional sense is well developed. His raw novice talent and real Detroit grit produced this fine print for a curated printmaking show in the Fall of 2014.

The inspiration for it comes from one of many photos Sean has taken over the years from the driver's seat of his delivery truck.  In the early-morning hours, before sunrise, he'd start a work shift and capture images of Detroit. The title of this print is, "Fort Street, 6 a.m." Detroiters know this view is heading east on Fort Street just past the Ambassador Bridge in Southwest Detroit with downtown Detroit in silhouette.

Here are ways you can help Sean:
(All proceeds from the prints and donations go directly to Sean)

Any amount of money will make a difference helping Sean with medical bills and living expenses while he is in recovery. Donations in any amount are welcome and can be accepted as a tax deductable contribution through Mercy Street Detroit, a 501c3 non-profit organization registered in the State of Michigan.

We are offering limited-edition, signed and numbered prints in an edition of 20 for sale to help Sean get past this rough spot in life.

We hope to sell each print for $250, signed and numbered by the artist.

Stencil making is a simple but time-intensive work process. Each layer of color is cut by hand with a sharp knife blade (X-Acto ). Using a pin-register system, color is applied successively with aerosol enamel paint. There are subtle variations in the prints because of how paint is applied with spray cans. Each print has unique atmospheric qualities. 

If you would like to know more about the stencil process and the portfolio show in which Sean's print was displayed, follow the link below to a story that appeared in The Detroit News.

This  GO Fund Me edition will be printed by Sean's workmates in the studio when Winter breaks for Sping. (no heat in workspace which, many years ago, was the Lincoln MotorCar factory in Detroit and now is part of Recycle Here!, a resource recovery facility on Holden Street at Lincoln Ave.)


Detail of the purple layer ready to spray.

Working one of the color layers from the source photo.
  • Sue Coburn 
    • $100 
    • 76 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $400 
    • 77 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 77 mos
  • Lo Lune 
    • $10 
    • 77 mos
  • C. Reinhardt 
    • $10 
    • 78 mos
See all


Danielle Doxie Kaltz 
Detroit, MI
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more