Talking. So much talking.
I thought the paintings
would do all the
talking for me.
I was wrong.
Press / News
Press & News
2023 is shaping up to be a painting/writing /in-the-studio kind of year so far. I'm not planning much. If you are interested in a talk or interview, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be well, everyone. Theresa
5.2022 Havertown-Area Community Action Network invited Theresa to tell a story for their event co-hosted by The Moth - Live Storytelling. She tells the story about the week she spent with her brother in hospice, helping him to die.
C O V I D. F U L L S T O P
2020 Activism on the streets:
#Black Lives Matter bearing witness and 2016 presidential election statement with the "Enough" portrait from the ASI Art of Politics series.
2.2018 Healthcare wonk Charles Gaba at ACASignups.net gives a shout-out to Art As Social Inquiry in his blog.
11.2018 Theresa ends her performance art piece called “Being Pussi Artist.” This piece was about stirring us to consider our self-talk and actions vis a vis our values.
Thank you to the Puffin Foundation for a 2017 grant to support Art As Social Inquiry’s mission.
11.7.2017 The Journal of the American Medical Association featured a piece about Art As Social Inquiry‘s healthcare painting series in The JAMA Network online edition.
6.2017 “My harder-hitting signs and messages are a response to the proposed healthcare policy changes that, if enacted, will kill people.The new GOP healthcare plan is poised to make getting insurance even harder for many millions of Americans. The present GOP leadership is moving to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, and replace it with draconian measures that will harm low and middle income, Americans. I believe healthcare is a human right. Politicians have made healthcare political. When fellow citizens are harmed by their government, I must speak up politically. I respect that all have the right and obligation to hold their representatives accountable whether I agree with them or not. I reserve that right for myself as well.”
5.8.2017 Huffington Post mentions Art As Social Inquiry’s advocacy work in the article, “Yes People Die When They Don’t Have Access to Health Care.” The piece is about Billy Koehler who died trying to get treatment for a defective defibrillator. Billy’s portrait is part of Art As Social Inquiry’s healthcare series. The “death portrait” depicts Billy half in and half out of life.
40 ins x 30 ins., oil on linen
Billy Koehler, deceased
3.8.2017 Theresa Pussi Artist BrownGold attends the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce full committee hearing,Markup of Committee Print, Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations and H. Res. 154, in Washington, D.C. The Energy and Commerce Committee marked up the new GOP healthcare bill called the American Health Care Act.
2.2017 Rally outside Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick’s (PA-8) office to call for keeping the Affordable Care Act in place. A repeal would haveto insure more people, offer the same or better benefits, and cost less.
2.2017 Pussi Artist and other activists are featured inhealthinsurance.org’s, “You’re protesting ACA repeal. Is anyone listeing? by Lisa Zamasky.
2.2017 Thanks to VOX News for this article about their book club, Kliff’s Notes:A Health Policy Book Club. The piece is about our discussion with the author of Inside National Health Reform,John McDonough, and includes a question from Pussi Artist. Thank you!
1.2017 Women’s March on Washington. Pussi Artist was there. You can find her essay about the experience here.
1.2017 Buxmont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship hosted Theresa for her latest talk, “Compassion as a Selfish Act.” Exercising our compassion muscle teaches us how to be compassionate with ourselves. Compassion for self sets the soul free. To inquire about booking this presentation email email@example.com
1.2017 Theresa speaks to the crowd at a pro- Affordable Care Act rally in Bucks County following the 2016 election.
7/2016 Java Cat Cafe and Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin hosts Art As Social Inquiry. Paintings from the project on view 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.
9.2015 Thanks to FL activist Fred Christian for the interview. Fred’s portrait will be the face of what it means when states do NOT expand Medicaid.
10.2.2014 Once again, Theresa 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.
3.24.2014 Theresa 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
2.6.2104 Thank you to the good people at Weavers Way Co-op for inviting Theresa to give a presentation about the Affordable Care Act to some of their members.She shared Art As Social Inquiry’sportrait 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. Theresa put on her PA Health Access Network certified ACA trainer hat to take questions about the healthcare law from the viewers.
10.6.2013 BuxMont Universalist Unitarian Fellowship invited the artist to share a bit about Art As Social Inquiry at their two Sunday services. She 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. Theresa is a PA Health Access Network certified ACA presenter.
8.21.2013 The Midweek Wire wrote about Art as Social Inquiry— portraits, town hall log and the genesis of the project.
Ted Borderlon, The Wire
8.19.2013 The Intelligencer reporter Gary Wekselblatt recorded this interview of me and other constituents to accompany an article he wrote criticizing Congressman Fitzpatrick's lack of real town halls. The video and article were mysteriously scrubbed from the internet with no credible explanation from the publisher.
6.2013 Theresa’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
6.20.2013 Theresa 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 Theresa 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. Theresa talked with representatives from Swarthmore 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 Security and Medicare honored Theresa by recently naming her a stand-out advocate.
4.17.2013 Theresa 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 Theresa’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 – 4.28.13 Pebble Hill Interfaith Church is exhibiting paintings from Art As Social Inquiry‘s series,Healthcare in the US through April. The artist 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, Theresa 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. Theresa calls her congressman’s office, Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) every day to ask about town halls.
The information is posted on the ASI blog and on Facebook 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. Somebody tipped me off.)
1.2013 Theresa 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. For complete photo album of the artist painting the commissions click here.
1.2013 Ernie Powell interviews Theresa 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.
2.12.2013 The artist 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.
11.8.2012 Theresa takes Art As Social Inquiry to Rep. Fitzpatrick’s office (R-PA 8) with Pennsylvania Working Families and Penn Action. We petitioned the congressman (through his staff) to hold a series of well-publicized town hall meetings. Theresa’s focus on 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. We also went into the congressman’s office to further explain our concerns.
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 Theresa’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. Theresa has been taking her portraits to senior centers and elsewhere as a way to talk about the healthcare law. Experts from the Pennsylvania Health Access Network often accompany Theresa on her speaking dates.
9.26 -9.27.2012 ZDF – ZweitesDeutschesFernsehen, German television, inhabited the studio for two days. They filmed Theresa painting portraits of candidates President Obama and Governor Romney. ZDF is interjecting the stages of each portrait into a story about the election.
8.29.12 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, picked up the story. Mary Wilson of WITF ran a piece. Guest spot on The Rick Smith Show. Here is a montage put together by a volunteer. And here are some clips from the day. Levittown. Doylestown. Quakertown. Photo album from the day.
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 about 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.
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. Theresa 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
6/2012 Penn Action assembled supporters of the Affordable Care Act at PA state rep. Tina Davis’s (D-141) office. Theresa took a portrait from her healthcare series.
6/28/2012 Theresa 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.) Theresa responds to the Tea Party chants (Video courtesy of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare)
6/2012 Theresa attends a conference sponsored by The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. The White House hosted us for the day. Here in the Indian Treaty Room the group listened and asked White House representatives questions about Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act.
6/2012 ASI was the “closing act” at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare conference. The group wound down after two intense days of listening and lobbying. Theresa’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. Theresa 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 Theresa 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 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.
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 Theresa (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 Theresa will be there
3/23/12 Theresa 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. Antoinette Krauss and Athena Ford of PHAN were on hand to explain the ins and outs of the Affordable Care Act.
1/9/2012 – 5/31/2012 Theresa is bearing witness 2-3 days/week 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.
10/29/2011 Theresa takes Art As Social Inquiry to Coffee Party Rally on West Lawn of Capitol Bldg., Washington DC.
10/13/2011 Daniel Putkowski covered “Occupy Doylestown” for his blog, The Bent Page.
My interview starts at 3:24 in the video.
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.
10/13/2011 A friend catches Theresa being interviewed at Occupy Doylestown (Thanks MD!). Little clip says it all.
10/6/2011 Theresa attends Occupy Philadelphia talking about medical bankruptcy. Dillworth Plaza, City Hall
More “Occupy” photos here.
9/18/2011 Theresa gives a presentation at the Living Waters Lutheran Church in Flemington, NJ
8/3/2011 Theresa 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 This uninsured subject of the painting could not access healthcare in timely way and lost 85% of her vision in one eye.
7/16/2011 Theresa gave a presentation at the Physicians for a National Health Program conference in Los Angeles.
4/26/2011 WHYY’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 Theresa received the Georgeanne Koehler Activist of the Year award at the Pennsylvania Health Access Network.
3/27/2011 Several Art As Social Inquiry portraits were exhibited at PA Health Access Network Conference in Harrisburg, PA.
3/24/2011 ASI portraits were exhibited. Celebrations for the one year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act continued at Drexel University’s 11th Street Family Health Services. People benefiting from ACA shared their stories at this roundtable discussion
3/23/2011 On the Affordable Care Act’s first birthday, some gave testimony in Harrisburg about how the act has benefited them. Theresa 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
1/21/2011 Thank you for the interview to Taunya English of WHYY
1/9/2011 Thank you to California Health Professional Student Alliance for inviting 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.
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 part was very small) I told the story of how one of my subjects, a 24 year old is being added back onto 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.
9/13/2010 War/Violence is the new Art As Social Inquiry category. The first blogpost is about the Vietnam War, “Nam, Can We Stop Now?“
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).The purpose of this project is to document this healthcare issue until the problems surrounding it are resolved. That may take some time.
6/22/2008 I am painting portraits of people and how the access (or not) the healthcare system in the US. The series is called Healthcare in the United States. This series should have about 100 paintings. My goal is to ask, What does the American healthcare and health insurance system look like in the lives of real people? I’ll post the paintings as I finish them.
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.
Art As Social Inquiry Talks & Exhibits
Deliberate Compassion Talk
"There is this deep emotional connection that Theresa makes with each person, and it becomes incarnate through her telling." Attendee
2018 - present
UU Church of Delaware County
Buxmont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Warrington,PA
Chalfont New Britain Dems, New Britain, PA
Trinity Episcopal Church, Buckingham, PA
North Penn Arts Alliance, Lansdale, PA
Havertown Community Action Network at Main Line Art Center, PA
Where to See the Paintings
These two paintings hang in ZDF offices in Washington DC. The German television station bought the paintings after they did a story on Art As Social Inquiry during the 2012 presidential campaign season.
"Without Frank" is on
view at Aston Mills Arts.
You can find the full story behind this painting here.
The exhibition runs from March 3 - April 16, 2023.
Opening reception is Friday, March 3, 5-8 pm.
Aston Mills Arts
3100 Mount Road, B3
Aston, PA 19014.
Gun violence is our national shame and heartbreak.
You can see Theresa's painting and all the other works in the exhibition from January 12 through April 16.
The paintings go to the victims' families.
12/ 2020 Art As Social Inquiry’s painting, “VOTE/Enough” is featured in the Puffin Cultural Foundation online exhibit, The Election 2020. This work implored all Americans to vote in the 2020 presidential election.
10/2020 From Delco Arts: In her Art As Social Inquiry series, BrownGold reintroduces us to talking points, policies, and politics by starting from our shared humanity. Drawn in by the power of her images, we yearn to know more about the people behind the faces. And BrownGold delivers, narrating each sitter’s story in turn.
At a time when our personal opinions can too easily overshadow the lived experiences of others, BrownGold asks us to “jump into one another’s ditches” and commit to climbing out together. H-CAN Arts Advocacy invites you to explore Deliberate Compassion in our online gallery from October 3 through November 3.