Essay: ESCAPING THE CITY: SINGAPORE

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Introduction

Throughout the rapid transformation of society, working class is facing a variety of challenges, such as work pressure, lack of finance and inability to engage with society. These challenges are mainly caused by two forces which is urbanization and globalization (Derné, 2008). Urbanization is the core among these challenges and globalization is changing the society, culture, economics, and politics rapidly around the world. The social relations of socialism are characterized by the working class successfully owing to the means of production and the methods for their vocation, either through cooperative enterprises, by public ownership or private artisanal tools and self-management. The social surplus accrues is a contribution resulted from the working class. To a certain extent, these challenges were conceived as a result of the process of socialism and also coordinating the capitalist elements to enhance the economic power of society.

The quick pace of urbanization is a vital marker of the societal transition at large that has occurred in the course of recent years. One of the most significant transition caused by urbanization and globalization is the increase of convenient consumption channels under commercial community such as convenience stores and online shopping (Options,2017). Others such as the strict control of power between the growth and decline; social status separation, the gap between rich and poor, changes of money concept and the birth of new culture materialism; the influence of western culture and other oriental culture in Asian country culture. (Derné, 2008) As the pace of urban development grows faster and faster, the pressure of working class face on the community are also increasing. The level of stress that working class face will be differences depends on their working environment. A hostile environment can be a standalone form of workplace harassment, or it can be the precursor or byproduct of other types. Behavior that causes intentional discomfort, such as harassment, impacts the atmosphere of the workplace and turns it into an antagonistic circumstances. Stress increments with the reckoning of antagonistic circumstances and the dread of not having the satisfactory assets to react to them (Adli, 2011).

When the circumstances becomes tough, the vast majority of people will try to avoid or leave it. Thus, the green spaces in a city played a significant role. Garden city movement was invented by Sir Ebenezer Howard (1850-1928). It was first described in his book Garden Cities of To-morrow which was published in 1902. The Garden City Model introduced the application of some basic planning principles which are still in use today. One of the significant country is Singapore. Although the concept of garden city movement changes over time, Singapore has been promoting the construction of a garden city vigorously since 1965. Singapore has a clean and tidy environment, natural scenery, picturesque harmony of shade and streetscape, harmonious relationship between man and nature. These are directly related to the advanced government philosophy, strict laws and strong management.

This dissertation is about investigating the impact of the Garden City process in Singapore on urban development and identifying is green spaces an escapism for working class. First of all, Chapter 1 will be introducing the background of Garden City Movement, the role of green spaces in city, how does green spaces helps people to relieve and the role of public art in this aspect. Chapter 2 will be researching about escapism, the social pressure that urban brings to us and some possible reasons that why people want to escape. Chapter 3 will redefine escapism in psychological aspect, form of escapism and positivity and negativity of escapism. Chapter 4 will be introducing escapism in art form and case study in art aspect. Throughout this exploration, I am not only seeking how people react to this stressful society but also how green spaces in this city affects people’s behaviour. We need to look into what we have done to our environment throughout the city development history and be aware of how this can influence our well-being and spiritual life.

Chapter 1: Garden City Movement

The garden city development is a technique for urban arranging in which independent groups are encompassed by “greenbelts”, containing proportionate regions of living arrangements, industry, and agribusiness. The though was started in 1898 by Sir Ebenezer Howard in United Kingdom.

Figure 1: Designated areas of green belt in England

Enlivened by the idealistic novel Looking Backward and Henry George’s work Progress and Poverty, Howard distributed the book To-morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform in 1898 which was reissued in 1902 as Garden Cities of To-morrow. His romanticized cultivate city would house 32,000 individuals on a site of 6,000 sections of land, anticipated a concentric example with open spaces, open parks and six spiral lanes, 120 feet wide, stretching out from the middle. The garden would act naturally adequate and when it achieved full populace, another garden city would be created adjacent. Howard visualized a group of a few garden urban areas as satellites of a focal city of 58,000 individuals, connected by street and rail.

Fig 2: Ebenezer Howard’s Garden Cities of To-Morrow city planning

Howard sorted out the Garden City Association in 1899. Two garden urban areas were constructed utilizing Howard’s thoughts: Letchworth Garden City and Welwyn Garden City, both in the province of Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom. Howard’s successor as director of the Garden City Association was Sir Frederic Osborn, who stretched out the development to local planning. The idea was received again in the United Kingdom after World War II, when the New Towns Act prodded the advancement of numerous new groups in light of Howard’s libertarian thoughts. The possibility of the garden city was compelling in different nations, including the United States. Illustrations are: Residence Park in New Rochelle, New York; Woodbourne in Boston; Newport News, Virginia’s Hilton Village; Pittsburgh’s Chatham Village; Garden City, New York; Sunnyside, Queens; Jackson Heights, Queens; Forest Hills Garden, likewise in the precinct of Queens, New York; Radburn, New Jersey; Greenbelt, Maryland; Buckingham in Arlington County, Virginia; the Lake Vista neighborhood in New Orleans; Norris, Tennessee; Baldwin Hills Village in Los Angeles; and the Cleveland rural areas of Parma and Shaker Heights.

Letchworth and Welwyn, the primary garden urban areas arranged in the 1920s, remain as a demonstration of his reasoning, albeit both have attempt to stay moderate, their low thickness arranging and expressive arts and specialties houses making them enormously alluring. Welwyn’s nearness to London implied it would dependably be more suburbanite residence town than self-managing city.

“Garden City” may have turned into an axiom for the comfortable center England perfect of privet fences, yet it started as a radical crusade for co-agent advancement, set out by parliamentary stenographer Ebenezer Howard in the 1890s. In response to the congestion and mechanical contamination of developing Victorian urban areas, Howard propelled his vision for a progression of perfect towns, contained by moving green belts, that would isolate the residential area from industry area.

“Human culture and the excellence of nature are intended to be appreciated together,” he wrote in the book in 1898. “Town and Country must be hitched, and out of this happy union will spring another expectation, another life, another human advancement.”

1.1 Green Spaces in City: Singapore

The concept of Garden City was first being raise by Singapore Prime Minister Mr
Lee Kuan Yew. He believed that “A blighted urban jungle of concretes destroy human spirit” and that “We need the greenery of nature to lift our spirits.” In 1963, he planted the first tree that sowed the seeds to make Singapore a Garden City. Therefore, the Keep Singapore Clean Campaign was launched in 1968, the regulation of air pollution through the 1971 Clean Air Act and the decision to locate pollutive industries away from residential areas in the 1970s. In the 1980s, Singapore River was transformed from a heavily polluted passageway for boats to the beautiful urban water catchment area and vibrant destination that it is nowadays. (Our home, our environment, our future, 2014) Moreover, a Siemens-Economist Intelligence Unit study ranked Singapore as Asia’s greenest city. The urban solutions have also attracted international interest and growing participation in biennial World Cities Summit, Singapore International Water Week and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore. These platforms allow it to learn from other cities about sustainable development and enhancing its capability. (Our home, our environment, our future,2014)

Fig 3: Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (centre) leading a mass drive to spring-clean the city

Pushed toward a concentric model, these garden urban groups would set the fundamental city limits in a central stop, ringed by an exceptional glass shopping arcade, past which would lie radiances of hotel and schools, enveloped by a periphery embellishment of modern offices and organizations. Regardless, integral to the course of action was that the regard would be held in the gathering: every national was to be a speculator, with the “unjustifiable expansion” wrinkled by and by into metro workplaces, rather than to missing landowners or hypothetical money related authorities.

Singapore’s urban landscape has been shaped over 50 years by unique conditions. These conditions either facilitated or compelled the island-state to take certain directions in its development. (Heng,C.2017) First, as an island with a limited land area, Singapore faces the perpetual issue of land scarcity. Despite the smallness of its island-state, Singapore manages its land constraints through strategic long-term planning, high-density development, and technological innovations. However, the challenge of land scarcity will become more and more complex in the near future given the need for economic progress and population growth in the face of an ageing population. As a small nation with limited natural resources, Singapore’s economic well-being is not only contingent on our competitiveness and relevancy on the world stage but also the size and diversity of our human capital. Second, Singapore is simultaneously a city and an independent state. There are only a handful of such sovereign city-states in the world, much less an island city-state. In this way, Singapore stands apart from most cities. Unlike cities, it has to plan for all the functions of a sovereign state. For instance, Singapore has had to develop water self-sufficiency and build up its national defense capabilities. Within Singapore’s limited territory are 17 reservoirs and a number of military airbases and training grounds. Again, more than a city-state, closer scrutiny reveals an urban core around the historic center connected by rail and road networks to 26 housing estates and new towns across the island which accommodates the nation’s population of some 5.5 million people.

1.2 Escape in City

1.3 Public Art

Chapter 2: Escapism

Escapism is characterized as the endeavor to dodge attention to aversive beliefs.

Strategies, and a couple of cases, of escapism are talked about.(Anon,1990) It is

contended that self-deception is one types of escapism and that dug in escapism,

escapism sought after with the expectation of for all time maintaining a strategic

distance from any consciousness of one’s conviction, regardless of what happens, is

hypothetically nonsensical, aside from in the unique situation where it adjusts for

nonsensicalness somewhere else, by guarding one from the arrangement of further

unreasonable convictions of more genuine import than the conviction one wishes

avoid.

1.1 Social pressure in urban area

Although there are a huge amount of people living in the city, the city has a different understanding and definition based on different disciplines on its view, such as geography, sociology, economics, anthropology, and others. For example, geography emphasizes that ‘cities are a special geographical environment’; economics focuses on cities that provide places for various economic activities; sociology focuses research in between the relationships of human hierarchy and behavioral activities (The Origin and Development of City,2017). Architect and urban planning division take the construction of urban material space and environment as the responsibility of the discipline. In many countries, it was mainly based on the density and scale of population aggregation to give a general inference. In fact, the production of the city can be traced back to the settlement stage of mankind. In the primitive society, human only live like others animals, constantly changing living place, collect fruits and hunt animals to eat in order to obtain a relatively adequate food resources. But gradually, human beings started to pursue a stable life, they found the method of storage of food, the cultivation of cyclical harvested plants and the discovery of domesticated wild animals cultural factors, making the human beings no longer as free as their predecessors. On the other hand, the social groups of human beings have engaged in various subsistence activities from the outset in the form of settlements. The difference between temporary settlements on the way hunting and the villages under farming culture lies only in their permanent differences. In other words, once the pattern of activities of the group of people as a unit determines the survival needs and settle down in a certain place, then the initial form of settlement, village was produced. (The Origin and Development of City, 2017).

In today’s increasingly global and interconnected world, over half of the world’s population lives in the urban area although there is still substantial variability in the levels of urbanization across countries (figure 1)(World urbanization prospects, 2014).

Figure 1: Percentage of population residing in urban areas in 2014, selected countries or areas (2014)

Available from: https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/publications/files/wup2014-highlights.Pdf

The report pointed out that although city appeared in human history for at least five thousand years, but by the year 1800, the urban population accounts for only 2% of the world’s population. Over the past 200 years, the trend of urbanization in the world has accelerated, and the emerging economic globalization has made the cities on an unprecedented scale and speed. The city is no longer a distant, isolated island. Modern transportation and communication have woven cities into a closely linked network. At present, the world’s population is about half living in the city, the number of urban residents reached 3 billion. It was expected that the trend of urbanization in the future will accelerate. By 2030, the world’s urban population will be close to 5 billion, accounting for 60% of the world’s total population (China.com.cn,2001). Urbanization refers to the process of the population concentrated in urban areas, and the transformation of rural areas into urban areas. It is a complex spatial form of change and social economic development process, not only reflected in the process of agricultural population transfer into an urban population but also presented in the process of various changes and
unique characteristic. There are also many different perspectives and expression from various disciplines of urbanization research. From the perspective of demography, urbanization is the process of transforming agricultural population into a non-agricultural population and intensifying to urban areas, which is manifested by the increase of urban population and town. Moreover, from the sociological point of view, urbanization is the process of cultural change and behavior transition that people experienced, it emphasized more on the transformation of lifestyle. In distinction to the perspective of social structure, urbanization generates the transformation of traditional rural society to modern industrial society. It is not only the change of people’s life and living way but also the whole process of social structure (Zhang and Su, n.d.).

Most of the people living in urban areas need to bear the pressure from all aspects of the society, in order to ensure their own survival and development from the community resources. This is the point that we need to admit under the “Pressure cooker” phenomenon. Social pressure is nothing more than learning, working, and life. People complained about social pressure is reflecting the anxiety of them when people fail to achieve their own expectations for various reasons in social life. It is the gap between ideal and reality. In this sense, the size of social pressure unable to simply determined by the social position or resources of the individual, but determined by the gap between the individual’s desired goal and achieved a goal. When the gap is bigger, people might feel greater social pressure. The reason for the current “Pressure Cooker” phenomenon is prominent and it was closely related to social development. Under the planned economic system, people access to resources mainly rely on administrative redistribution, the logic of daily life is “wait”. In contrast to this, under the socialist market economic system, people access to resources mainly rely on the market, the logic of daily life is “competition”. There is no doubt that the social pressure brought about by “competition” is far greater than “wait”. It can be said that the period of rapid social development is also a period of social pressure increased (Wang, 2013). At the same time, the rapid development of society also provided more opportunity for people, and people who tend to achieve more goals need to put more efforts (Wang,2013). Therefore, people will endure greater social pressure in this rapid evolution society.

Through the perspective of the world, social development has also promoted the change of social production pattern and daily lifestyle, which cause people change the process of having resources from the environment. It makes the pressure that people need to bear with continuous change. In particular, since the industrial revolution, economic and social development has completely changed the agricultural civilization under the conditions of economic self-sufficiency. People who have more social resources can often use their own resources to resolve the usual sense of social pressure, and disadvantaged groups due to the lack of social resources, social pressure can often penetrate and affect their daily life seriously. It is important to improve the ‘social support’ network that helps vulnerable groups cope with social pressures. In traditional societies, closely related primary social groups such as families and neighborhoods are important sources of ‘social support’. Such social group has gradually declined or disappear, thus, government becomes the main social support (Zunz, Schoppa and Hiwatari, 2002). At present, the ‘pressure cooker’ phenomenon; establish and improve ‘social support’ network and to alleviate the social pressure of vulnerable groups is a very important issue and also to achieve the inevitable requirement of social justice.

When people brain felt the pressure, the brain’s sympathetic nervous system releases norepinephrine, which can temporarily improve the body’s function to help you ‘fight’ or ‘escape’. The hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis also releases a series of ‘stress hormones’, which is cortisol hormones into the blood. As a human living in urban area, people might feel pressure every day, such as car puncture, unpleasant relationships with friends or family or boss made an unreasonable demand, and so on, the pressure response might not be useful. (Guokr.com, 2011)

Robert Sapolsky, a professor of neuroscience at Stanford University in the United States wrote in his book, “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers”, about pressure and disease of stress, saying that pressure is a response to short-term event to most of the creatures on Earth, then either the pressure disappear at the end, or pressure disappear because you are unfortunately killed. When people sit down and worried about tense things, our physiological reactions are the same, but it would be troublesome if this physiological response constantly stimulate. There is a need to clarify that on the surface, the pressure source will cause you sick, or long-term repeated denial of pressure will cause you sick; but the more accurate way to define it is that long or repeated stress may cause you sick or increase the risk of having an illness.The most powerful pressure, whether it is constant or repeated, does not necessarily lead to illness. There is also a need to emphasize that stress itself does not make you sick and does not even increase the risk of having an illness. The pressure will make people susceptible to certain diseases or when people had already infected by some diseases the and the pressure will increase the risk of disease overwhelming body resistance.

Most of the main psychological variables are actually some ambiguous ideas. But there is a series of ingenious experiments clearly show what factors are involved.One of the protagonists of an experiment is a mouse that received a slight electric shock. After several times of electric shock, the mouse started to produce the long-term stress response. Its heart rate and glucocorticoid secretion rate has increased. In order to justify clearer, the experiment calculated the probability of gastric ulcers in rats as the consequences of long-term stress. In this sense, the odds of rats having gastric ulcers are very high. In another room, there is also a mouse received same continuous electric shock with same form and intensity, even the body’s dynamic balance is also exactly the same. The difference is, whenever the mouse receives an electric shock, it will have a piece of wood to bite. In this case, the mouse does not affect by gastric ulcer so easily, it was because there is a way to let the mouse vent. Another way with the same forms is useful too, such as let the mouse drink, eat or run on the wheel. They are less likely to suffer from the gastric ulcer (Sapolsky, 2009). As a result, these mice are like humans. When human beings have their own way to vent and adapt to pressure, like sports, reading or find comfort in their hobby, their mind can get relief by imagining these way. For example, a patient who suffers from long-term severe illness can lie in bed with pencil and notebook, draw the hills from imagination, and ride a bike wandering around.

1.2 How do people escape

In the perspective of the Frankfurt School, in a situation in which mass culture monopolizes the spiritual life of people, people show the characteristics of escaping reality, and begin to lose the intrinsic transcendence dimension and become accustomed to the non-thought plane survival mode. As a result, artists seldom create works of individuality and depth of thought, and people are reluctant to appreciate serious works of art while content and accustomed to mediocrity and unconventional popular consumer goods. In other words, in the developed industrial society, both the creators of mass cultural works and the admirers and consumers of mass culture have all shown the characteristic of “escapist reality.” (Yi,2012). Hork
heimer’s “Escapists” is described in detail in Critical Theory: “The gradual disintegration of the family, the transition of personal life into leisure, the transition of leisure into the routine process of managing the details, the free time to become a baseball stadium and a movie , The best-of-the-best-selling book, and radio, these changes lead to the collapse of the inner spiritual life.Culture was replaced by these familiar delicacies long ago, and as a result, it has shown a characteristic of escapist.

1.3 Possible reasons to escape

Freud considered a share of escapist dream an important component in the life of people: “They can’t subsist on the insufficient fulfillment they can coerce from reality. ‘We essentially can’t manage without helper developments’, Theodor Fontane once said”. His devotees saw rest and wish satisfaction as valuable devices in changing in accordance with awful upset; while later analysts have featured the part of vicarious diversions in moving undesirable inclinations, particularly outrage and sadness. In any case, if perpetual living arrangement is taken up in some such mystic withdraws, the outcomes will regularly be negative and even pathological. Drugs cause a few types of escapism which can happen when certain mind-changing medications are taken which influence the member to overlook the truth of where they are or what they are intended to do.

Some social commentators caution of endeavors by the forces that control society to give methods for idealism rather than really bettering the state of the general population – what Juvenal called “bread and the games”. Escapist social orders show up frequently in writing. The Time Machine portrays the Eloi, a languid, insouciant race without bounds, and the repulsiveness their glad way of life gives a false representation of. The novel inconspicuously reprimands private enterprise, or possibly classism, as a ways to get out. Idealist social orders are normal in tragic books; for instance, in the Fahrenheit 451 society, TV and “seashell radios” are utilized to get away from an existence with strict controls and the danger of a pending war. In sci-fi media idealism is regularly delineated as an augmentation of social development, as society winds up noticeably isolates from physical reality and preparing into a virtual one, cases incorporate the virtual universe of Oz in the 2009 Japanese enlivened sci-fi anime Summer Wars and the amusement “Society” in the 2009 American sci-fi film Gamer, a play on the genuine MMO diversion Second Life. Other idealist social orders in writing incorporate “The Reality Bug”, by D.J McHale, where a whole human progress leaves their reality in destroy while they ‘bounce’ into their ideal substances (Yi,2012). The point of the wannabe turns into a mission to make their substances apparently less immaculate keeping in mind the end goal to recapture control over their diminishing planet.

Chapter 2: Psychological Escape

Escape is to break free from confinement or control or elude from someone(Oxford Dictionaries | English, n.d.). As what already mentioned in chapter 1, psychological factors can be adjusted and even cause a stress response. Such as lack of a way to vent, loss access to peer support, things are deteriorating and in some cases, loss control and predictability. These ideas have greatly increased our ability to answer the following question: why are some of us getting stress-related diseases?’. People are different and the social pressure source for the perception of the external environment is also very different depends on individuals psychological filtering ability.

The meaning of life lies in the desire to change and proactive. The process of escape from pressure is also the process of cultural production. The ultimate destination of escape is the product of human imagination. People come out with beautiful blue print, different religions also give people a different world perspective. The beauty of heaven, the evil of hell, all of these is based on human imagination. Thus, people often lost their way in the fantasy because of their own imagination. When the object is to escape the body itself, what is the meaning of escape? As what we had known, human beings might realize that they are still essentially an animal, and it is the realization and consciousness of human beings different from animal’s character (Tao and Yan, 2006).

The uniqueness of human physiology can cause the corresponding consequences. When a person is aware of their own individual differences between themselves and the society, it will put pressure and influence on each other. For example, family members received education and learned how to unite no matter age, gender, ability and character, everyone lives in their own unique world. In this civilized society, people tend to be very cautious when they trying to say something that is severe or miserable. They could be constantly observing fragile psychology of others. This kind of fragile psychology actually comes from the long-dependence of others in young age. The dependence nature constantly transforms due to the gradual growth of the individual. But some of the dependencies cannot be eradicated completely, it often brings humble and depressing feelings in the process of interpersonal communication. Such as an office clerk, no matter what kind of effort he has paid, has always been excluded by a colleague; the narrator is relish but the listener is indifferent. Life has always been full of the various type of betrayal, but even the smallest degree of betrayal will make our life eclipsed. People are well aware that good and harmonious interpersonal relationships are essential to maintaining normal life, but at the same time, it is often very cruel to understand that realities are not always as desirable. As Albert Camus said:“I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.” (Duan, Zhou and Zhang, 2005)

Although people could understand that death will take us from time to earth and not only take away our flesh, but also our thoughts and souls. Nevertheless, people might have to keep one’s nose to the grindstone in order to survive.

2.1 Form of escapism

Escapism is the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy. Escapism can make people ignore reality and it can be accomplished by means of recreation and entertainment, through which we try to suppress feelings of sadness, depression or daily stress. Any deviation from the usual norms can be called escapism. People who suffer from social pressure often remove themselves from the rigors of daily life, especially into a digital world. Eating, sleeping, exercise or sexual activities can also become avenues of escapism when taken to extremes or out of proper content. The ability to escape from unpleasant pressure creates a moment of peace and healing for the human soul. It is also important to note that escapism inherently defies restrictions(Lana,2013).

There are many kinds of form to escape from reality, one of the most common is listening to music. Music puts many people into their subconscious. They begin to visualize, to make associations, to drift. For instance, James Cameron and his wife, Gale Anne Hurd, produced and directed “Aliens,” the summer movie hit of 1986. Cameron was responsible for drafting the basic story. He secluded himself for four days, listening to music, appropriately Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’. The result was both artistically and financially successful(Higgins, 1997).

2.2 Positivity and Negativity of Escapism

The Norwegian therapist Frode Stenseng has introduced a dualistic model of escapism in connection to various sorts of movement engagements. He examines the mystery that the stream state looks like mental states reachable through activiti
es, for example, sedate mishandle, sexual masochism, and suicide ideation. In like manner, he concludes that the condition of escape can have both positive and negative implications and results. Stenseng contends that there exist two types of idealism with various full of feeling results subject to the motivational concentration that lies behind the submersion in the movement. Escapism as self-concealment comes from intentions to flee from obnoxious contemplations, self-recognitions, and feelings, while self-development comes from thought processes to increase positive encounters through the action and to find new parts of self. Stenseng has built up the “escape scale” to gauge self-concealment and self-extension in individuals’ most loved exercises, for example, games, expressions, and gaming. Exact examinations of the model have indicated that:

the two measurements are particularly unique with respect to emotional results that a few people are more inclined to connect with through one sort of escapism; situational levels of prosperity influence the kind of escapism that ends up plainly prevailing at a particular time.

4.1.1 John Ross Palmer

John Ross Palmer is an American artist based in Houston, Texas. He is the author of numerous books and the founder of the Escapism art movement. In 2010, the Museum of Cultural Art Houston named Palmer ‘Artist of the Year.’ In the same year, he was a finalist for the Hunting Art Prize. Palmer began his art career in 1998 and his work has since appeared in a variety of publications, galleries, and special collections. His work featured in the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, the Jung Center, the John Ross Palmer Fine Art Gallery, and his murals are displayed in Tony Vallone’s restaurants in Houston. In 2012 and 2013, John Ross Palmer Fine Art Gallery participated in the LA Art Show.

In 2011, Palmer and Ryan Lindsay created the charity of the year program at their art gallery. In 2013, Palmer hosted ‘Fine Arts Day for Children and Teens’ in association with the My Legacy Foundation. Also in 2013, John Ross Palmer Art chose the Houston-based charity Writers in the Schools as its charity of the year. He started the ‘Refuse to Struggle’ campaign to fund the gallery and studios for the Escapist Mentorship Program. The gallery will promote the Houston Habitat for Humanity in 2016.

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