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A Home for Artist Sherry Dooley

$2,175 of $3,900 goal

Raised by 38 people in 4 months
UPDATE: 2017 has been a draining year for artist-activist Sherry Dooley, financially and otherwise, but 2018 looks promising thanks to this campaign's contributors and Sherry's adaptability and determination. Our original campaign goal of $7,100 was based on her staying in Portland, Oregon, where the cost of living is high. I am thrilled to announce that Sherry has been accepted as a resident artist at Curley School Artisan Apartments in Ajo, Arizona, which provide qualifying artists with sun-drenched live-in studio spaces at special rates. She can move as early as January, provided she can get there!

With rent there significantly less than it would cost her to live in Portland, I have adjusted our funding goal downward, to $3,900, and we're about halfway there already! In addition to making and selling art again, Sherry already has a job interview lined up at a local coffee shop within walking distance of her new digs. The additional funding I'm requesting on her behalf will cover her long-distance relocation costs, which we hadn't counted on, plus the cost of a rebuilt laptop she'll need to market and sell her art, submit work to juried art exhibits, etc. 

Profiled in the online magazine Art Saves Lives, Sherry has a voice and a vision that are vital in our current sociopolitical climate. Please, help us get her moved and settled so she can make art again.

If you've not followed this campaign from the beginning, here's a quick recap of how Sherry got in her current situation of tenuous housing and no studio space or supplies.

The end of a long-term relationship, subsequent bankruptcy, and other misfortunes forced a cross-country move from New Orleans to Portland, Oregon. Sherry arrived with a six-month plan to save money and get back on her feet. As part of that plan, she is living in a cramped, shared apartment with no room to fully unpack let alone set up a studio and make art. That's not only her loss, but ours.

Read more about Sherry's story here

Sherry's six-month plan was disrupted by (among other events) the death of her father, following a fall. This was a setback, but Sherry at that point expanded her apartment search beyond Portland and qualified for the Curley School residency. 

Sherry already has voiced plans to pay your generosity forward by donating the proceeds of a forthcoming painting to the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center in Lexington, Ky. , on top of her normal volunteer work and activism. 

I have known Sherry for 5+ years, first as a collector of her work and then as her friend. (Below is a picture of me holding a Sherry Dooley original; the painting with the bird to the right is also hers. Please excuse the bad crop!) All funds raised for Sherry through this GoFundMe account are transferred weekly into my account, and then passed on to Sherry via PayPal. 

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Hi! This next update comes from Sherry herself. I'm leaving her funding goal the same until she secures employment and her art sales pick up. Please read her heartfelt message through to the end, Thanks, everyone!

Hey all,

Sherry here! I wanted to personally thank everyone who has donated funds to my GFM campaign. To me, it says that you believe in me, and you’d like to see me be successful, which means the world to me. Sometimes we all need a little validation. You all have renewed my faith in myself. The generosity has been overwhelming and has brought me to tears.

Thus far the funds donated have allowed me to purchase a new refurbished laptop, which I need for work. The funds have allowed me to purchase an airline ticket to Arizona to start the next chapter in my life. The funds have allowed me to ship my art supplies so I can paint. The funds have allowed me to pay the deposit and first month's rent on my new apartment. For the laundry list above, I’m grateful. Tearfully, grateful.

The weather is Ajo, Arizona is warm, sunny and somewhat healing. The silence and solitude has backed me into a corner, with no way out: I’m dealing with my father’s death. No distractions here. I haven’t come to acceptance yet…I don’t know how this process is suppose to “go”…but at least I have the privacy to mourn the loss. Tears of pain, regret, guilt and simple sadness flow freely. And that’s okay. This was not an option in my last living situation. Safe space to grieve has been the greatest gift of all.

Before coming to Ajo, I looked into independent coffee houses in the area, as I wanted to continue in the barista world. What a great way to introduce myself to the community? Plus, pulling shots is very satisfying. There is only one coffee joint in Ajo. I sent in my resume – and was given an interview date. Long story short, I made assumptions, assuming I’d get the job. I didn’t. Never count your eggs before they hatch, right? I’ve since applied for a part-time position at the Dollar store, the Ajo conference center, and a few other places.

Creating is my soul-healing path. I’ve been painting and posting. Painting and posting. I’ve sold a few pieces, totaling $110. Painting small, keeping the retail prices on the lower end is the plan until I get on my feet. No longer will I be depending on that one big sell to get me over the hump. I’ve made that mistake in the past. Time to learn what works and doesn’t.

Checking the calendar, there is less than two weeks to come up with rent, cell phone bill, passed cell phone bill, electric and Internet service. It adds up quickly. I’m down to my last $60. To be honest and frank, (may I?) I’m fucking scared. Frozen in panic mode stinks. Seriously, did I move too quickly? Have I made, yet, another foul choice? Self-doubt has crept in even when I pooh-pooh it away. It’s challenging to create when in this mode. It’s challenging to apply for jobs with the sweat of desperation on my brow for all to see. There are so many amazing opportunities in the realm of volunteering, here in Ajo. I want to dive in, especially when it comes to working with the kids of the town. But I can’t do that just yet. I have to be stable before I can extend myself to the community and the greater good.

The plan was to move when I could pay my rent up for a few months, which would allow me some breathing room to get totally situated. The apartment became available, with no signs of another being available in the foreseeable future, so I took it. Tossing common sense out the window…and believing in blind faith, I took the leap.

To turn this car around, I will need to go back to the original plan: Having enough money to get settled. I just don’t have it. Am I begging? God, I sure hope not. Again, I’m grateful for what funds have been donated. I’ve made it this far from the generosity of others. It’s been an awesome push! Now I’m looking for one last shove to get over the hump.

I see the endless possibilities -

Sincerely with love and gratitude,
Sherry
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If you read our last update you know that Sherry applied and qualified for affordable artist housing in Arizona. This is such an inspiring environment and an awesome fresh start for Sherry, made possible by YOU, along with Sherry's resourcefulness. Please, see for yourself how fabulous this space is!

http://curleyschool.com/

While we weren't anticipating long-distance relocation costs, with the cost of living so much lower than in Portland, we were able to adjust our target funding goal significantly downward. However, we're still a little shy of what's needed, and I ask that you revisit the campaign page at https://www.gofundme.com/sherrydooley where I go into more detail about exciting new developments and remaining funding needs for Sherry. Thanks for reading this update and considering a new or repeat donation to Sherry in this final push to meet our adjusted funding goal.
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I'm thrilled to announce that Sherry has been accepted to the Curley School Artisan Apartments in Ajo, Ariz.!! Thanks to your generosity, she has enough money saved for a few month's rent payments. Now she just needs to get there! All that's needed to make her whole again are transportation/moving costs, and she'll need a new or refurbished laptop more than ever for marketing/selling since she'll be making art again. This is such a great opportunity for Sherry. We're so close to getting her there! She moves in January IF she can put enough money together for moving costs, which I will break down in a future update. The projected cost of the laptop is $1,100 (up from my original projected cost of $900). I'm still hoping to get enough funding to stock her new studio, but getting her housing was the top priority and I thank all of you for getting us so close to that goal!!!

http://curleyschool.com/
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Thanks to each of you who is keeping this campaign trending. As those of you close to Sherry may know, her dad died last month and she has had the added expense of taking off work and traveling to be with him prior to. That of course pales in comparison to the emotional toll. She still has pressing needs and a ways to go before we meet our goal. Please help if you can, and thanks for reading this update!
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$2,175 of $3,900 goal

Raised by 38 people in 4 months
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