I’m the artist who donated my masterpiece "Amor Alien" to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, Illinois 8 years ago. NMMA is in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago and does not charge admission. They obligingly loaned the painting out the University of California, Riverside in 2017, and the Queens Museum in New York City, 2019, for the landmark exhibit, "Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas”
￼￼￼In 2005, my doctor advised me to leave the toxic work environment of the scenic shops and construction sites where I worked for 24 years after I began to show symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and ever worsening chronic bronchitis. Almost a decade later, when I finally got health insurance again in 2014, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or 'ADHD' at the advanced age of 58 and obstructive sleep apnea related to a Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) which is partly congenital, and partially the complications of having 4 premolars extracted at age 12 for orthodontics. (Thanks, USC School of Dentistry!
) I'm facing complicated reconstructive oral and maxillofacial surgery using a total joint prosthesis in my jaw. Although I currently have adequate health insurance through my husband Dan's employer, the out-of-network cost for the surgery I need could run $20,000 or more.
A detailed clinical view of Total Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Replacement surgery
by￼￼￼￼￼ Dr. Larry M. Wolford (WARNING: graphic surgery photos)
My surgeon's partner, William M Hang DDS MSD
, the only orthodontist in Southern California who treats Obstructive Sleep Apnea properly doesn't accept medical insurance of any kind.
I suffered a serious financial setback 2 months ago when the United States District Court denied the appeal of my 2013 claim for Social Security Disability insurance benefits. (Laura Molina v. Nancy A. Berryhill, 2:17-cv-09219
) My non-attorney disability representative seriously compromised my claim with his incompetence and misrepresentation and abruptly bailed out without notifying me he'd lost the case. December 2017, when I had to file the 'last chance" appeal of my case in Federal court, ("In Pro Per" of course, because no lawyer would take the case.
) I found out he didn't have the qualifications to represent anyone
to the Social Security Office of Adjudication and Review. The payment of back benefits for my disability claim after a 6-year long wait would have covered the out-of-network cost of my jaw prosthesis surgery. Short of an act of Congress, I'll never see any of that money now. The Social Security Administration would rather I'd have stuck it out as a scenic artist until I died of a respiratory cancer or a fatal asthma attack, like some of my former colleagues.
Meanwhile, Dan and I have been saving to buy the house we’ve been leasing in Valencia for 4 years but when we didn’t get qualified for a mortgage, fast enough for the owner’s liking - the deal went bad. Then they refused to carry out necessary repairs during the heavy rains this past winter and we had to hire an attorney to represent us - using part of the money we’d saved for a down payment. They retaliated by attempting to evict us.
Fortunately, an identical house across the street from us went up for sale 2 weeks ago. We've raised the money for a down payment but there’s still closing costs and attorney’s fees to pay on top of all the medical expenses ahead in the next year.
When I offered to donate my beloved painting to the NMMA for their permanent collection, I received many thanks from curator, but otherwise I did not get so much as a tax deduction from the IRS or any other compensation for it. Your support would be so greatly appreciated. I gave my art to the world and now I need help from you! Laura Molina
All donors under $50 will receive a signed Amor Alien litho print from me. Donors over $50 will receive their choice of a signed print or an 'Amor Alien' t-shirt.
Please see my web site for links to purchase artwork directly from me or my eBay store in lieu of a donation.https://www.lauramolina.com.
Please contact me privately if interested in redacted briefs from Laura Molina v. Nancy A. Berryhill, 2:17-cv-09219, https://dockets.justia.com/docket/california/cacdce/2:2017cv09219/697590
* * *“I believe Amor Alien is one of our most iconic pieces in the Permanent Collection. We love it to the moon and back.”
Rebecca D. Meyers, Permanent Collection Curator, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago Il.