Our project is endorsed by:
The Independent Filmmaker Project
Our project received a fiscal sponsorship from the IFP - Independent Filmmaker Project! This means all donations are now TAX DEDUCTIBLE! Click here to make a donation.
The DAV -- Disabled American Veterans
Michael Naranjo is an inspiration to his fellow veterans. In spite of an extraordinary injury, he's overcome tremendous challenges to become one of the preeminent artists of his generation. A fellow past DAV Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year, the entire veterans community stands in awe of his accomplishments and the grace he shows through his amazing artistic expressions.
-- Dave Riley, National Commander, DAV (Disabled American Veterans).
The Booth Western Art Museum
Michael Naranjo's artwork speaks to people in a way that is unique in the art world. There's just something innately human, spiritual and quietly powerful about it. Even if you didn't know his story, that he is blind and he has limited use of his hands, the work still resonates with viewers. Once they do know Michael’s story they are all the more taken with it - touched and motivated by his perseverance and commitment to using his God-given talent.
While his sculptures tell stories on their own and do not need lengthy descriptions or artist statements to convey their message, to hear him talk about his creations elevates the viewer’s experience.
During the opening of an exhibition of his work at the Booth Western Art Museum many were moved to tears of joy and empathy when Michael lead a gallery walk and presented a lecture on his life's work. One patron perhaps said it best in relating his thoughts. He described his experiences hearing some of the country's greatest motivational speakers from the business world, famous football coaches and others, but declared Michael's presentation was more inspirational than any of them.
No one would blame Michael if he were a bitter individual, upset with his country, his predicament and the perceived limitations that he faces, but he is easily the most upbeat and positive individual I've had the pleasure to meet.
It is important that this documentary be produced and widely distributed. Michael’s story is one that should be shared with young people and those facing challenges. They need to know the power of dreams and understand the ability to make them come true is inside all of us.
- Seth Hopkins, Executive Director, Booth Western Art Museum
New Mexico Arts and the Military, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs
Every morning I pass through the lobby gallery in the Bataan Memorial Building where Michael Naranjo’s sculptures are on display. A plaque on the wall reads, “The artist invites you to touch these pieces.” A guest book lays open on a white pedestal.
“Proud of you brother veteran,” wrote a member of Cochiti Pueblo.
In four and half years I have never seen a speck of dust on the 13 solid black works of art. Someone lovingly cares for these remarkable pieces so that the Bataan Building workers and visitors can experience their quiet beauty.
“Magnificent witness to the power of the human spirit,” said the visitor from Philadelphia.
When Dream. Touch. Believe.is shown around the country, others will come to know Michael Naranjo and how his story has touched the lives of Vietnam veterans and all those who have served, including their families, and caregiving partners.
“Thank you New Mexico for sharing Michael’s art,” wrote a visitor from Castle Rock, Colorado. Thank you Jenna Winters for bringing Michael’s story to the screen so that we can get a sense of how the process and his experiences complement the sculptures we enjoy so much every day.
-Phyllis Kennedy, Program Coordinator, New Mexico Arts and the Military, Department of Cultural Affairs