7/2016 Java Cat Cafe and Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin hosts Art As Social Inquiry. Paintings from the project from June 18 through July 29. Pussi spoke to the group about the project; how it led her to demonstrating in Washington DC; and the true meaning of compassion.
The Affordable Care Act included provisions for states to expand their Medicaid program to cover low-wage earners. Florida chose NOT to expand Medicaid. The state’s move leaves 800,000 uninsured, and $18 billion federal dollars on the table. That is about politics not people.
10.2.2014 Once again, Pussi had the pleasure of speaking to Lori Schlosser’s class at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. The class is called “Health and Aging.” Pussi shared stories about her journey from uninformed business owner to artist advocating for access to healthcare. She told many of the stories behind the faces in the portraits as well as anecdotes from standing in front of the US Supreme Court and Capitol in Washington DC. “Thanks Lori and students! It was fun.”
3.24.2014 Pussi was invited back to Ms. Lori Schlosser’s class at the Rutgers School of Social Work. She presented the Art As Social Inquiry talk, ART & ADVOCACY – Using Art for Social Change. To book a presentation please write email@example.com.
2.6.2104 Thank you to the good people at Weavers Way Co-op for inviting Pussi to give a presentation about the Affordable Care Act to some of their members.She shared Art As Social Inquiry’s portrait stories about healthcare and explained the healthcare law. (Photo album of ACA presentations here.)
12.17.2013 CBS 3 hosted a phone-a-thon at their television studios in Philly. Pussi put on her PA Health Access Network certified ACA trainer hat to take questions about the healthcare law from the viewers.
12.11.2013 Pussi spoke to a health care and aging policy class at the School of Social Work at Rutgers University (Masters level) in New Brunswick about Art As Social Inquiry and how it led to social advocacy.
Please contact Pussi at info@artassocialinquiry if you would like a presentation about Art As Social Inquiry or the Affordable Care Act.
10.6.2013BuxMont Universalist Unitarian Fellowship invited Pussi to share a bit about Art As Social Inquiry at their two Sunday services. She spoke about her portrait of President Obama surrounded by graffiti — the names of the mass shootings in our country. This painting is a response to the Sandy Hook mass shooting of teachers and young students. In the painting the president is weighted down with an assault weapon across his chest to signify the horror of it all for the president personally, as he has expressed, and for all of us as Americans.
Pussi shared stories of “standing” with portraits in Washington DC to face her government and bearing witness for those suffering under our current system for accessing healthcare. She spoke of the dynamic between compassion and intellect, and how to harness both for real solutions. The presentations get animated at times.
10.2013 Art As Social Inquiry joins with PA Health Access Network, Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition and Keystone Progress to present informational sessions about the Affordable Care Act (Obmamacare) throughout eastern Pennsylvania. Pussi is a PA Health Access Network certified ACA presenter. Photo album is on ASI’s Facebook page.
9.13.2013 Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition invited Art As Social Inquiry to display paintings at the event, ACA (Obamacare) Rollout: What Every Agency and Professional Needs to Know. Pussi spoke briefly about her project and introduced the moderator, Ann Torregrossa of PA Health Funders Collaborative. Panelists were Debbie Feierman of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Athena Smith Ford of Pennsylvania Health Access Network and Laura Line of Resources for Human Development .
8.21.2013 The Midweek Wire wrote about Art as Social Inquiry — portraits, town hall log and
TED BORDELON / WIRE PHOTO
Pussi stands by portraits she created as part of her “Art as Social Inquiry” project. For the past four years, she has focused on health care. Each portrait is meant to tell personal stories of individuals struggling to access health care in the U.S.
8.19.2013 (Please Note: The Calkins Media group removed the article from their website. It has been retrieved and posted on Pussi’s blog along with her comments about removing the story. Delaware Valley PA/NJ NBC News also picked up the article before it was removed. )
This Newspaper article and video are about town halls in Pennsylvania’s 8th district.
The ASI feature, Tracking Town Halls: Do Unscripted Constituent Public Gatherings Matter? logs the PA-8 town hall daily schedule .
Pussi started the log innocently enough as way to not miss any town halls.She wished to take ASI portraits to town halls to show the congressman some faces of real people struggling under our current system for accessing healthcare and to challenge him on what she characterizes as “misstatements” about the healthcare law.
The issue of the lack of in-person town halls in our district became a stand-alone issue.
Tracking Town Halls: Do Unscripted Constituent Public Gatherings Matter? has become a social art project – a log of town halls over a long period of time. For what purpose? One cannot know how art-making ends until it is over
6.2013 Pussi’s high school honored her work and Art As Social Inquiry in their feature: Alumni in the Spotlight: One Artist Who Is Making A Difference
6.20.2013Pussi takes Art As Social Inquiry’s portraits on the road to give a presentation about Obamacare to the folks at Norton Avenue First Baptist Church, Bristol, PA with Athena Ford, advocacy director at Pennsylvania Health Access Network.
6.12.2013 Pussi takes a portrait to the Pennsylvania Health Access Network rally in Harrisburg, PA. Individuals and healthcare professionals shared compelling stories. Expanding Medicaid as provided for under the Affordable Care Act would give 700,000 Pennsylvanians access to health insurance. PA’s Gov. Corbett has not agreed to expand Medicaid.
5.7.2013. Pussi talked with representatives fromSwarthmore Food Cooperative and other local Co-ops,Newark Natural Foods, CreekSide Co-op & Weavers Way Co-op to discuss health care and how the upcoming changes will affect small business.
4.2013 The National Committee to Preserve Social Securityand Medicare honored Pussi by recently naming her astand-out advocate. (Scroll down on link for complete list.) Thanks, NCPSSM!
4.17.2013 Pussi followed a time-honored tradition for painters by learning from the masters. Museums usually abide by allowing painters to copy the masterpieces hanging in their galleries.The Philadelphia Museum of Art granted her request to copy Gustave Courbet’s painting, “Spanish Woman.” It’s one of Pussi’s favorite paintings. “We copy the masters not to make pretty pictures but to follow the tracks of masters by moving our brushes the way they did as a way to learn from them. We abandon our own techniques and tendencies to see what we can learn from truly accomplished painters.”
4.7.2013 – 4.28.13Pebble Hill Interfaith Church is exhibiting paintings fromArt As Social Inquiry‘s series, Healthcare in the US through April. Pussi will be giving a talk at the Church on Sunday, April 14 at 10:30 AM.
2/2013 Bunny and Eddie won the raffle! At every Truth Tour speaking event this past summer and fall, attendees put their names in a raffle jar to win a portrait. Eddie won! Since Bunny and Eddie were celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary, Pussi painted them both.
2013 Tracking Town Halls: Do Unscripted Public Constituent Public Gatherings Matter? is a new category of social inquiry on Art As Social Inquiry. Town halls were happening in the district but advance notification was not forthcoming. Pussi calls her congressman’s office every day, Mike Fitzpatrick of PA’s 8th district, to ask about town halls.
The information is posted on theASI blogand onFacebook as a public service to the constituents of PA-8. There has been much activity in the local press about the issue. The guest opinions, letters to the editors, town hall videos, etc. are listed by date.
- 2.20.2013 Town hall at Norton Ave. Baptist Church, Bristol, PA. Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) commits to NOT voting to raise the eligibility age for Medicare. He is less committal when asked if he would agree to let Medicare negotiate drug prices which it is currently not permitted to do because of a sweetheart deal for big pharma. (n.b. This town hall event was not advertised. A targeted group was notified.)
- 2.21.2013 Editorial from The Intelligencer, a Bucks County PA newspaper
- 2.18.2013 Guest Opinionfrom Brenda M.
- 2.13.2013Letter to the Editorfrom Eleanor G.
- 2.7.2013 Guest Opinionfrom Pussi of Art As Social Inquiry
- 2.1.2013 Article in The Intelligencersaying Rep. Fitzpatrick is a “target.” Those calling for the town halls are “troublemakers.”
- 1.24.2013 A “Vent“from Clare F. bemoaning the fact that all cannot attend a town hall.
Why does Pussi press for town halls? And how is any of this about art? “We need to hold our representatives accountable in a public forum for the benefit of all the constituents. I had no idea that social art would lead to social advocacy. Blame the people I paint. They shared their stories and I am changed.”
2.12.2013 Pussi is in Harrisburg with Antoinette Krauss and Athena Ford of Pennsylvania Health Access Network. They are lobbying their state representatives to pressure our governor to opt into the Medicaid expansion provision of the Affordable Care Act. The speakers at the press conference outline the great
benefits to PA residents
1.2013 Ernie Powell interviews Pussi about art and activism on Pivot Point with Maya Rockeymoore on We Act Radio, Ernie is the grassroots national director for the National Committee To Preserve Social Security And Medicare, a terrific organization out of Washington D.C. Membership is inexpensive ($12).The amount of good information on their website is, as they say…priceless. January 6 interview starts at 47:17.
1.2013Theresa delivers the commissioned paintings of President Obama and Governor Romney to the studios of ZDF, German television,in Georgetown, Washington D.C. ZDF included the portraits in a story they aired about the 2012 US Presidential elections.
11.8.2012 Pussi takes Art As Social Inquiry to Rep. Fitzpatrick’s office (R-PA 8) at the invitation of Pennsylvania Working Families and Penn Action. We petitioned the congressman (through his staff) to hold a series of well-publicized town hall meetings. Pussi’s focus, healthcare, was included in the list of issues such as jobs and the upcoming fiscal cliff that the group would like to see discussed in public town halls. Unexpectedly, we encountered the Congressman walking to his office. The video of the talk in Rep. Fitzpatrick’s office (congressman was not there), and the unexpected encounter in the hall are below.
11.3.12 Art As Social Inquiry goes electronic for Termite TV at the Rotunda, a space where art intersects the community courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania. Video and imaging artist, Alan Powell, displayed images of Pussi’s portraits about healthcare on six screens. Other images of the portraits were included in a film by contributing artists from Termite TV.
10.2012 The Truth Tour continues! Pussi has been taking her portraits to senior centers and elsewhere as a way to talk about the healthcare law. She has been sharing stories of her time “standing” outside the US Supreme Court and Capitol for 5 months. It was her way to symbolically confront her government and to bear witness for those in her art project who have suffered greatly under
9.26 -9.27.2012 ZDF – ZweitesDeutschesFernsehen, German television, inhabited the studio for two days. They filmed Pussi doing portraits of Obama and Romney. They are interjecting the stages of each portrait into a story about the election. Will let you know when the story airs.Great fun! Thx for coming ZDF
Press for Truth Tour Medicare 2012: What’s at stake?Dan Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer came to the studio for an interview and followed up by coming to the Doylestown stop.The Bucks County newspaper, the Intelligencer, pick up the story. Mary Wilson of WITF ran a piece. Thank you! Guest spot on The Rick Smith Show. Fun!
Here is a fun montage put together by a volunteer. Thank you, Sally! And here are some clips from the day. Levittown. Doylestown. Quakertown. Photo album from the day. (Video coming from the indoor art show and presention held at the Buxmont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.)
8.29.12 TRUTH TOUR MEDICARE 2012 : What’s at stake? is a traveling art and policy show that will help bust myths circulating about Medicare, Obamacare and give audiences a chance to hear stories from America’s health care crisis as well as share their own.
The tour kicks off Wed. Aug. 29, 2012 with four stops in Bucks County, PA. The day is capped by an indoor art show and presentation at BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Warrington, PA.
“Like” the Tour and keep up-to-date on Facebook. Please contact us if you would like us to speak at your event, house party or other venues. firstname.lastname@example.org
7.30.2012 Kaiser Health News prints ASI’s haiku.
Summer/Fall 2012 Truth Tour 2012 Medicare: What’s at Stake? treks across PA’s 8th district and beyond. Pussi uses her portraits to talk about Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. She speaks at senior centers and to other groups. The focus of her talk is to debunk the political rhetoric around the law so citizens can make informed decisions. PHOTO JOURNAL
7/2012 Talkadelphia features Art As Social Inquiry. Just days after the US Supreme Court held up most of the Affordable Care Act, Kishwer and Geno — the forces behind the podcast, Talkadelphia — interview Pussi about art, healthcare and the adventures of the last 6 months.
6/28/2012 Pussi stands in front of the US Supreme Court with the throngs waiting for the court to hand down their decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (The US Supreme Court declared the law constitutional with some modifications to the expansion of the Medicaid provision.) Pussi responds to the Tea Party chants (Video courtesy of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare)
6/2012 Pussi attends a conference sponsored by The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. One day was spent at the White House. Here in the Indian Treaty Room the group listened and asked questions about Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act of White House representatives .
6/2012 ASI was the “closing act” at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. The group wound down after two intense days of listening and lobbying. Pussi’s presentation focused on the hardships faced by so many waiting to qualify for Medicare.
6/2012 The crew from ZDF television, German TV, came to the studio to learn about ASI and the artist behind it. Two subjects in the healthcare series are featured. Pussi talks about her painting of Courtney Leigh Huber, the young uninsured college graduate who died as a result of cutting back on her insulin (Type I diabetic) to save money. The crew interviews Joann Wallace, an uninsured widow who lost 85% of the vision in one eye because she could not get an operation for a detached retina soon enough. Here is the link. Find the story, “Amerikas tödliches Gesundheitssystem.”
4/2012 Pussi had the pleasure of introducing Holly Gonyea Dolan at the 2012 PA Health Access Network Conference. Holly received the 2012 Georgeanne Koeholer Activist of the Year Award from PHAN. Holly became a healthcare advocate after suffering a stroke at 27. Her tale of being ill and having to battle with the insurance company to get her claims paid spurred her to advocacy. She started a blog called Health on the Horizon. Holly explains the Affordable Care Act by telling stories of real people and how the law would affect their lives. Holly’s speech follows the introduction.
3/26/2012 – 3/28/2012 The US Supreme Court heard 6 1/2 hours of oral arguments to decide the constitutionality of certain parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare. Art As Social Inquiry was represented by signs and different portraits every day outside the Supreme Court.
Please check ASI’s Facebook page for a photo journal of the week. Here are links of some of the press coverage for Art As Social Inquiry. Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire; PBS Newshour’s The Rundown; The Morning Call; Washington Post Pictures (ASI weighs in with 2 photos); Bloomberg Business Week; more great pics from News Observer (ASI gets a shout out ); Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health; The Intelligencer; The Guardian (picture);Pittsburgh Post Gazette; amednews.com (picture); buzzbox.com; US Election Atlas; MercuryNews.com (pic #19, my favorite); Portfolio.com; Orlando Bulletin, Voice of America (Chinese).
(You want to get interviewed? Show up with a colorful sign and a big mouth, and someone will shove a microphone in your face. I can attest to it.)
3/23/12 NPR’s Marketplace gives ASI portrait and sign a nod! Nancy Marshall Genzer interviewed Pussi (among others) last week about the logistics of standing for hours at the Court. The Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments next week about the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), and Pussi will be there.
3/23/12 Art As Social Inquiry is featured in Health on the Horizon blog, by Holly Gonyea Dolan.
3/23/12 Pussi was a guest speaker at a “house party“ organized by the Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN). She shared her artwork. She talked about her advocacy for the Affordable Care Act– taking portraits and signs to bear witness in front of the US Supreme Court and the Capitol. Antoinette Krauss and Athena Ford of PHAN were on hand to explain the ins and outs of the Affordable Care Act.
1/9/2012 – sometime in June Pussi is bearing witness 10 days/month with her portraits on the sidewalk of the US Supreme Court and the Capitol until the Supreme Court hands down a decision on the constitutionality of certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act. Check out the photo journal on Art As Social Inquiry’s fan page on Facebook.
12/8/2011 Art As Social Inquiry and Occupy New Britain, PA get coverage in the local paper, The Intelligencer.
10/29/2011 Pussi takes Art As Social Inquiry to Coffee Party Rally on West Lawn of Capitol Bldg., Washington DC.
10/25/2011 Samantha Sharf of The Daily Pennsylvanian (University of Pennsylvania’s independent student news organization) covers Art As Social Inquiry at Occupy Eric Cantor the Wharton School. Thank you!
10/25/2011 Pussi serves on a panel at the 2011 PA Women’s Conference Philadelphia, PA. Lu Ann Cahn moderated. Panel also included Liz Lange pioneer designer in maternity wear, and Josefina Bonilla, publisher of Color Magazine. Mady Prowler assistant director of WHYY’s Coming of Age hosted this breakout session about embarking on the next phase of life regardless of age or circumstance.
10/21/2011 Art As Social Inquiry at Occupy Eric Cantor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Pussi talks to the students. “When somebody explains to me why Speaker Boehner’s life (representing Congress) is more important than this delivery pizza guy’s life (died trying to access healthcare), I’LL STOP.” REAL access to healthcare for all.
10/13/2011 Daniel Putkowski covered “Occupy Doylestown” for his blog, The Bent Page. His thoughtful interview allowed me to express why I “occupy.” Before Occupy, I had never made a sign and stood in the street to be understood and heard by my government. My interview starts at 3:24 in the video.
10/13/2011Friend catches Pussi being interviewed at Occupy Doylestown (Thanks MD!). Little clip says it all.
10/13/2011 JD Mullane covers Occupy Doylestown for the Intelligencer. 10/6/2011 Pussi at Occupy Philadelphia talking about medical bankruptcy. Dillworth Plaza, City Hall (video from FloodtheDrummer‘s YouTube channel)
October 2011 Occupy Philadelphia pictures and videos. Pussi makes appearance with portraits
Check out ASI’s Facebook page for more pictures
9/18/2011 Pussi gives a presentation at the Living Waters Lutheran Church in Flemington, NJ
9/17/2011 Art As Social inquiry portraits on healthcare are displayed at benefit concert for Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine Clinic.
8/3/2011 Pussi takes a portrait from her Art As Social Inquiry series on healthcare in the US to a town meeting in Morrisville, PA. Her point is to bear witness for an uninsured woman to her representative in the House of Representatives, Mike Fitzpatrick (PA 8th district)
8/3/2011 Pussi before bearing witness to Congressman Fitzpatrick for the uninsured subject of the painting who could not access healthcare in timely way and lost 85% of her vision in one eye.
7/16/20011 Pussi gives a presentation and talk at the Physicians for a National Health Program at their conference in Los Angeles.
4/26/2011WHYY’s Coming of Age interview and slideshow.This piece does a great job explaining Art As Social Inquiry. See the studio and listen to one of the subjects talk about her portrait.
4/19/2011 PBS’s Independent Lens has named a portrait from Art As Social Inquiry as a finalist in their visionary art-making search. Please VOTE for the portrait called Joann. (I call the portrait Grandmother, Widow, age 65, Uninsured for 18 years until eligible for Medicare in 2011.)
3/27/2011 Pussi’s acceptance speech for the Activist of the Year award at the PA Health Access Network conference. (Introduction starts at 28.22 on the video)
3/24/2011 ASI portraits were exhibited. Celebrations for the one year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act continue at Drexel University’s 11th Street Family Health Services. A roundtable discussion and stories frompeople benefiting from provisions of the ACA were shared.
3/23/2011 On the Affordable Care Act’s first birthday, some gave testimony in Harrisburg about how the act has benefited them. Pussi was able to share Courtney Leigh Huber’s story. Courtney’s portrait is part of Art As Social Inquiry’s health insurance series.
1/21/2011 Thank you to WHYY TV for a story about Art As Social Inquiry (Go to 15:15 on video). If you have a story to tell, please contact me. email@example.com.
1/21/2011 Take a listen to the radio interview about ASI by Taunya English of WHYY (local public radio station). Click the audio link the hear the interview.
1/9/2011 Thank you to California Health Professional Student Alliance forinviting me to speak at their Lobby Day Event in Sacramento this past weekend. I enjoyed sharing thoughts about Art As Social Inquiry. Thank you to all who shared their health insurance stories with me. I hope to be “painting” some of those stories. BTW, the Sacramento airport is awesome.
9/23/2010 Thank you Jo Ciavaglia from the Bucks County Courier Times for a very informative article. Art As Social Inquiry gets a plug (thank you!)…Jo mentions the portrait of the uninsured young woman with Type I diabetes who died from cutting back on her insulin to save money. These times challenge us to decide who we are and what’s acceptable. Not easy.
9/21/2010 Thanks once more to PA Health Access Network (PHAN) for inviting me to participate in the conference call today with Sen. Casey, Rep. Schwartz, Joanne Grossi of US Dept. of Health & Human Services, Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, Pres. of National Physician’s Alliance, Antoinette Krauss of PHAN and Ron Pollack of Families USA. (My mouth hurts from dropping all the names…LOL…my part was very, very small, trust me.) I told the story of how one of my subjects, now 24 years old is being added back on to his family’s group plan because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act allowing adult children under 26 to be covered on their parents’ plans.
9/20/2010 Thank you to the PA Health Access Network for the opportunity to speak at their event in Philadelphia.
9/13/2010 Blog started AND New Category of social inquiry posted: WAR. The first blog is about the War painting, “Nam, Can We Stop Now?“ Yeah, the blog is way too long…hey, it’s how the piece unfolded.
9.2012Along with continuing to paint health care, I am starting a NEW PROJECT for Art As Social Inquiry. I am painting the story of how we die. I am interested in painting people and cultures from all over the world. How do we die as inhabitants of this planet? From dignified, ritualistic death processes to gruesome murders or deaths from war. Perhaps we can understand ourselves better as living beings if we understand how we die. Send me your thoughts and stores. firstname.lastname@example.org
3/23/2010 As President Obama signs the health care reform bill (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), I will continue to paint portraits about the issue. I will paint the before/after coverage (or lack of it) of individuals. The purpose of this project is to document this health care issue until the problems surrounding it are a distant memory. That may take some time. The Democrats like me now. As I continue painting the effects of government policy on real people, the Republicans might start to like me. My only point is to stay on the subject until it is resolved. The message of the project is for all parties to stay on health care reform until we get it right.
3/11/2010 Art As Social Inquiry gets a mention on Sirius 114 radio show called Dr. Radio. Cindy Mercer Jones Wynne tells her story. Her 23 yr. old uninsured, employed daughter, Courtney Leigh Huber tried to save money by cutting back on her diabetes medicine at night. She fell into a coma and died in Jan. 2010. Cindy has allowed me to paint a portrait (not yet posted) of her daughter for Art As Social Inquiry. The Julie Love Diabetics Assistance Foundation posted a memorial to Courtney. The family has a Facebook page called In Memory of Courtney Leigh Huber.
8/5/2009 Art As Social Inquiry gets press in the Bucks County Herald
6/22/2008 Current Project: I am painting portraits of people and how the access (or not) the health care system in the US. While the topic of undocumented workers/illegal immigration? has just one portrait, my health insurance series should have about 100 paintings. My goal is to ask, What does the American health insurance system look like in the faces of real people? I’ll post the paintings as I finish them. My dream is to include in this series a portrait of President Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or Senator Mitch McConnell or anyone who has the very best health insurance coverage a government job has to offer.
It also occurs to me that the portraits can be instruments of social change. The portraits are pictures of real people, and they might sensitize us to the fact that all opinions affect real people. Aiming our opinions at real people may, in turn, alter our opinions. But this is just me thinking outloud.
Let’s have fun with this.