Further art discussions and notifications for the artwork of Sam Thorp

Thursday, August 31, 2017


“Donnie?” That’s such a Pittsburgh name.

I'm pretty sure this is what I said when I first met Donnie Toomer. That turned out to be a dumb thing to say cause he was born in Georgia. He moved to Pittsburgh to live with his dads. Those dads are rather prominent members to the gay community, owning a few clubs and shops around town. But more importantly, those dads are really nice guys. Donnie grew up running a spotlight for drag shows and had a few great stories about Queen drama. Donnie worked in a law firm by day, hustled his art at night. He had a very distinct style and vision that he worked very hard to develop. I had Donnie do a show at the gay community center during that short time I ran the gallery there. I feel fortunate to own a few of his pieces. Donnie could be very sensitive and emotional, which was difficult for him in a world that does not always appreciate that sort of thing. I remember a few conversations with him getting all worked up and passionate over this and that. And a few times having to talk him down when he got a little too carried away. When he had his show at that tattoo shop I had to show up to officiate a fight between him and that gallery owner.  Turns out Donnie has/had a large extended family. Lots of half- siblings and step- siblings in Georgia and Pennsylvania as well as the local art  and gay community. Last few years Donnie worked a lot with Art- All- NIght. Apparently, he was very passionate about that yearly event.  The last time I saw Donnie was at the MWFA gallery last winter. He had a show upstairs and my show was downstairs. Pretty sure I gave him a hug the last time I saw him. I’m glad I did.
There’s not going to be a funeral service, which is why I’m posting this here.
Donations can be made to  in his honor. 


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