July 04, 2010

Behind the Easel: Durham Dreams presents the dream of Reverend Ernie Mills

Happy Independence Day!

An Introduction:
I thought it fitting to introduce July's "dream" subject on Independence Day.
Rev. Ernie C. Mills and his wife, Gail Mills, Co-Founders of the Durham Rescue Mission are the subjects of this month's Durham Dream "portrait. They have dedicated their lives to the cause of bringing independence to those enslaved by the addictions of drug and alcohol abuse. This "Dream Portrait"will depict the desire of this dynamic faith duo "to rescue the rejected relics of the world and help mine the diamonds in the rough that they might become fully functioning members of society.
A vision:
With a vision of helping homeless men addicted to alcohol and other drugs, Ernie and Gail Mills came to Durham in 1973 to start a new ministry. In November 1974, the doors to the Durham Rescue Mission opened, providing food, shelter, clothing, and counseling for 12 men. Today the ministry has grown to three campuses and can provide for 200 or more men, women, and children. From simple beginnings, they have seen countless answers to prayer and faith. Quick to point to the source of their success, they thank God that they have seen the expansion of this ministry to provide food, safe shelter, clothing, vocational training, biblical counsel, job placement, permanent supportive housing, dental, medical, vision, and continued accountability for residents to remain drug free.
An interview:
Sitting to interview this humble man who has spearheaded so many productive programs and seen countless lives transformed was a privilege. Having the opportunity to paint his dream is an even greater honor. I look forward to sharing the process with you over the next two weeks. 

An unveiling: 
As always, the completed "Dream Portrait" will be unveiled during open studio at Goldenbelt. This month's date is July 16th. The painting will be on exhibit there along with the previous portraits of Bill Kalkhof, Sheriff Hill, MaryAnn Black and Bill Shore. Reverend Mills' portrait is number five in an ongoing series, unveiled at the rate of one per month, which will number twelve when completed. They will remain in my studio until next spring when they will be featured in a public exhibition and go on sale.  A percentage of the sales from these pieces will go towards helping rebuild East Durham.

Prints available this month: 
Prints of each of the "Durham Dreams" series of paintings will be available for purchase by mid July.


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