Recent Blog Posts

Last month, the folks at “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” asked us to donate artwork to the MLB Fan Cave.  We really enjoy the relationship we have with “EM: HE” and their designers.  So when the design team, headed by Paul DiMeo, asked Gallery Direct to donate artwork to this first of its kind dream lair, where one lucky fan gets locked in a lush baseball fantasy world to watch every one of the 2430 Major League regular season games. We said, “YES!” Since “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is involved, you know the project can only be over-the-top because Everything “EMHE” does is over-the-top! The designers selected one giant mural for us to create and twenty-two other images. We’ve really enjoyed seeing the whole thing develop. You should take a look. We get asked a lot, “That partnership you have with ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ must really pay off?” We have to say, “That’s not why we did it. We love the show. We love the lives and communities the show assists. End of story.”  Of course, nobody’s buying it; they think it’s part of some corporate “cause marketing” campaign. Whatever!  “EM: HE” found us randomly, doing a search online. No PR firm was hired to make the alliance. But make no mistake, when we see our artwork hanging each week in the “walk-through,” it makes us feel pretty awesome. What goes around comes around. So, we were honored to be asked to beautify the walls of the MLB Fan Cave.  And if you’re asking, “Is it going to pay off?” We’ll reply, “Who cares? It’s just super cool!” [above: Paul DiMeo personally hanging new work by M. Drake: Frank Sees]

High Praise from a High Point Insider

Tweet Each morning we login to the ratings and review workbench to examine the newest customer reviews of our artwork. This one caught our attention. Overall Rating: 5 stars Quality: 5 stars Value: 5 stars Ease of Installation: 5 stars … Read More

Each morning we login to the ratings and review workbench to examine the newest customer reviews of our artwork. This one caught our attention. Overall Rating: 5 stars Quality: 5 stars Value: 5 stars Ease of Installation: 5 stars True to Color: 5 stars Would you recommend this to a friend?: Absolutely Review Title: Products from Gallery Direct look like original works of art
I purchased Mountain High II by Sylvia Angeli to go with Mountain High I, which I purchased earlier. I used them in a showroom at High Point Furniture Market. They looked fantastic and many of their customers asked where the artwork came from. They thought they were original oil paintings.
The High Point Market [formerly called the International Home Furnishings Market] in North Carolina is one of the oldest and largest trade shows of its kind. The “market” as it’s called in the trade brings together suppliers and buyers of anything you can think of that might be found in a furniture store: couches, tables, bedding, rugs, lamps, etc. You can even purchase art, too. This show is not open to the public, only qualified buyers and sellers may attend.   The show itself is millions of square feet, encompassing several downtown blocks of High Point, North Carolina. Fascinating. So when we read a review from a woman, who purchased art from Gallery Direct, not to re-sell, but to dress up a showroom we are very flattered [we’re assuming she is an interior designer]. Moreover, when she ends the review stating customers, “buyers,” mistook our limited editions as original artwork, we consider that high praise indeed.  I’ve known some buyers in the past, and they are paid to be discerning, looking for the items, which will bring value to their clientele.  Their job is to recognize craftsmanship, aesthetic value, and quality. Thank you. You’ve made this American fine art company’s day. Hope you had a good market!

What the heck is marouflage anyway?

Tweet 3000 years ago, during the Iron Age, an artist thought it would be safer to paint a grand work on canvas and adhere it to a wall after its completion.  The technique is called “marouflage.” Artist #1: “The King … Read More

3000 years ago, during the Iron Age, an artist thought it would be safer to paint a grand work on canvas and adhere it to a wall after its completion.  The technique is called “marouflage.” Artist #1: “The King gave me carte blanche to paint a mural in his new dining hall, whatever I want!” Artist #2: “Carte blanche from the King is a one way ticket to digging your own grave, should he not approve of your grand opus.” Artist #1: “Good point! What if I produced a work in the studio first, presented it to him for approval, and then affixed it to the wall?” Artist #2: “Sounds like you just saved your neck and should keep the King’s favor.” This is how we imagine marouflage was invented and we think, 3000 years later, it’s time to adorn your castle with it. BUT examining the history of marouflage, the techniques to adhere the canvas were sometimes quite toxic.  We’ve remedied this. Coming very soon, you will have the ability to order our entire collection as a mural, [we’d like to use the word marouflage, but think it might be too freaky for folks].  The results from the pre-release trials are amazing, like this new image [above]  from our artist Sara Abbott, now hanging in the communications center.  Aside from the awesomeness of our entire line available on mural, the product will be green.  Our eco-friendly latex inks and PVC-free wall covering will meet the GREENGUARD indoor air quality certification requirements, and it’s easy to install and removes without damaging your walls. Nice. We’ll let you know when the new mural [or marouflage] capability hits the market.

Messages from the past-WPA Poster Collection 1936-1943

Tweet Gallery Direct recently acquired the By the People, For the People: Posters from the Works Progress Administration Poster Collection [WPA], 1936-1943.  The artwork produced from this era was the most ambitious U.S. Government sponsored artistic program to date, born … Read More

Gallery Direct recently acquired the By the People, For the People: Posters from the Works Progress Administration Poster Collection [WPA], 1936-1943.  The artwork produced from this era was the most ambitious U.S. Government sponsored artistic program to date, born of FDR’s New Deal, which was our government’s attempt to overcome the factors of the Great Depression. New Deal programs championed reform through a stronger centralized government and [unemployment] relief through sponsored public works. The sanctioned Federal Art Program [FAP], the administrative channel for the creative endeavor of the WPA, employed over 5000 artists over several poster divisions.  The subject matter during this period ranged from the hyper-local and regional such as art exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances, travel, tourism and community activities; paralleled with the national: wartime propaganda, health, safety and educational programs.  Aside from the rich image history, the collection remains one of the finest snapshots of popular marketing typography from the period.  Having said that, it’s not like our Library of Congress [Americana / WPA] collection arrived picture perfect. Cleaning up the files has been a labor intensive endeavor. Pictured above [on the left] is the file as we acquired it. Notice the stains, cracks and creases. The image on the right is the polished [300 dpi] version, which is now ready to be reproduced as wall art.  The irony is not lost on us: the WPA is still employing our graphic artists decades after it ceased to be. Thank you, FDR! NOTE: These images are a historical account, representing the prevailing sentiments and principles of time.  Some viewers may be offended by the expressions and depictions, but then again some of the images are hilarious, too.

The Best Holiday Decorations Ever

Tweet Maybe you hate them or love them; one thing is certain, the holidays are upon us. This means you might be involved in some entertaining very soon.  Like kicking off your shoes at airport security only to find you … Read More

Maybe you hate them or love them; one thing is certain, the holidays are upon us. This means you might be involved in some entertaining very soon.  Like kicking off your shoes at airport security only to find you have a hole in your sock, you might not want to be caught off guard this year.  So here’s your reminder: if folks are coming over, you might consider doing the best holiday decorating ever- Get Your Walls Some New Artwork! While our business-to-business channel New Era HD slows to a screeching halt during the holidays, Gallery Direct gets a huge spike.  Why?  Major construction and building projects are either finished up by the holidays or take a pause, as budgets await renewal (in Q1) and immigrant workforces return home to visit family.       On the consumer-side (that’s us) people start to freak when they know they’re about to have company over.  They don’t want guests staring at the decor like a nasty hole in their sock.  But who has the time or the money for a major home renovation project?  New artwork is the answer for many people.  It’s the holiday season that led Gallery Direct to first strive for the 48 hour turnaround time we ship most orders.  This is quite a feat when you are making every order custom and on-the-fly, but we worked hard to make this a reality.  The best part about redecorating with artwork at the holidays—whether you’re eating latkes or fruitcake—is you don’t have to box anything up or store it away in the attic.  Our decorations are meant to be enjoyed year long. Nice.
We just revamped our art buying guide, which goes live early next month on gallerydirect.com.  We basically redid it for our new partner’s site, a major brick and mortar who happens to be major e-com player, too.  Nice.    We put a little extra love in the document. Drawing from our experience of over ten years, picking the brain of our Art Director, and throwing in a little Jungian psychology for good measure, we feel the guide will help you find the right image, pick the perfect size, hang at the optimal height and so on.  Who wants to make a mistake? Buy the wrong clothes, buy the wrong car, buy the wrong house, etc.  To avoid erring, we advise our guests to choose what they like, first. Does this mean pick the art you like and the “others” be damned? Yes, actually, it does mean that. Taste is not universally shared. You can’t please everyone, so start with pleasing yourself.  This is why, in the new guide, we strongly urge you to start with finding an image that leaps out as a strong emotional connection, like a favorite song.  It’s your checkbook, if you are not absolutely sure you love the image, you will not be able to live with it for years to come. Decorating with artwork is as subjective as it gets.  As hilarious as arguments about taste may be, they are simply pointless because taste is subjective, too.  I like chocolate. You like vanilla.  Are you going to convince me vanilla is better than chocolate by arguing an eloquent case? Probably not.  “So hey Cupcake, when it’s my hard earned money, I’ll buy my delicious chocolatey things, and with your dough, you can fill your face until the cows come home with vanilla.” From there, we instruct you how to use the artwork itself as a means to create harmony in the room. So, if someone viewing the image doesn’t share your excellent taste—meaning they aren’t connected to the image as you are—they will, at least, be able to appreciate the picture’s ability to create harmony in the space.  Sort of like, “Julia Roberts is great looking even though her mouth is enormous.” Meaning she has so many wonderful features you can look past the size of her mouth.     We want you to have your cake and eat it too. Find images that please you and work toward creating harmony within your home or office. We’re not going to lie; decorating with art is kind of an art form.  We’re happy to lend some pointers.  We’ll announce when the new art buying guide is updated on our site.  If you can’t wait until then, I suppose you’ll figure out who our new partner is. You can hunt it down there on Monday.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Austin-located fine art and specialty manufacturer of image-based products shown on the “Johnson Family” episode, which airs SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10th  (8:00-9:00p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network, continuing its commitment as one of the show’s benefactors through the entirety of Season 8 AUSTIN, Texas, October 7th, 2010— Gallery Direct (http://www.gallerydirect.com/) announces its third week of participation in ABC’s Emmy award winning, philanthropic reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Gallery Direct CEO Joseph Garcia had this to say, “After we looked at the sneak peek and saw this week’s deserving family was from our home state of Texas, we were beside ourselves with joy.  Once we got to know a little more about the Johnson’s and their contribution to strengthening marriages and home life, we were honored to play a small role in the extreme renovation of their home.” To match the sound of joy and laughter in the Houston, Texas home of Eric and Elaine Johnson and their five daughters, this episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will be filled with tears of joy. Along with help from some top comedians, including Cedric the Entertainer, Tommy Davidson, Ralphie May, Paul Rodriguez and fashion model Brooklyn Decker, the design team guarantee that the audience will be laughing instead of crying throughout this episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on ABC. Eric and Elaine Johnson—along with their five flamboyant and fashion-loving daughters who range in age from 5 to 14 years—were just having a fun time at a local Houston comedy club. Then design team leader Ty Pennington came out, inviting the unsuspecting family to join him onstage, and told them that they would be the latest recipients of a home makeover. Later on, the excitement continued to build as the red carpet was rolled out and all of the volunteers, builders and celebrity volunteers came to the Johnson family home for a comedy roast. The Johnsons had planned to transform their run-down house, but the one-two punch of 2008's Hurricane Ike and the economic downturn put that dream on hold. Both Eric and Elaine have dedicated their lives to rescuing family life and marriage. As Eric observed the African American community being overpowered by a seeming epidemic of family disintegration, he became passionate about African American fathers stepping up to play a larger role in their children's lives. The Johnsons began a marriage and family counseling non-profit called Optimum Lifestyle, with the goal of strengthening marriages in fun, creative ways. Their couples' seminars have possibly saved 1500 marriages and kept countless kids from growing up in single-parent homes. Eric and Elaine continued their mission while living in their dangerously dilapidated house. Now the "EM: HE" design team can help make their home safe and sound—and most importantly—match the delight and happiness that lives within it. Team leader Ty Pennington and designers Michael Moloney, Ed Sanders and Paige Hemmis specified an impressive collection of artwork for the Houston episode. Gallery Direct’s ability to create art on any surface came in handy as the designers specified an array of different substrates to beautify the Johnson’s new home.  Gallery Direct’s top man Joseph Garcia only had this to add, “Americans and Texans alike must watch this week’s show!”    About Gallery Direct Gallery Direct, a division of New Era Portfolio, a privately held company, is the global leader in providing fine art solutions. The company publishes, manufactures, and markets limited edition artwork and custom image-based products. Its expertise in managing artists, portfolios and forecasting style trends allows the company to deliver current, vital artwork to corporate and hospitality design arenas, a prestigious collection of retail clients, and directly to the consumer. Its technological command not only delivers fine custom artwork quickly, but also creates web-based solutions for blue chip retailers. Gallery Direct is proud to be creating fine American-made artwork for 10 years. For more information, please visit http://www.gallerydirect.com/. About “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” The Emmy award winning reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” now in its eighth season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It’s executive-produced Brady Connell and George Verschoor. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The show airs Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET on ABC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Texas-located fine art and specialty manufacturer of image-based products shown on the “New York, New York” episode, which airs SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3rd  (8:00-9:00p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network, continuing its commitment as one of the show’s benefactors through the entirety of Season 8 AUSTIN, Texas, September 29, 2010— Gallery Direct (http://www.gallerydirect.com/) announces its next week of participation in ABC’s Emmy award winning, philanthropic reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Gallery Direct CEO Joseph Garcia had this to say, “Last week’s episode “Boys Hope/Girls Hope” was a real tear-jerker.  I was amazed at the level of participation from the Baltimore community and the immense impact that Ty and his design team had on the young women of “Girls Hope.”  It’s a worthy cause and we are thankful to play a small part in the future of this valuable organization.  We know this week’s New York episode should not be missed.”   On Sunday, the Lutz family of East Setauket, New York, thought they had simply been invited to attend an afternoon baseball game between the Yankees and the New York Mets.  In its place, they were surprised to find out they would be the latest recipients of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” via the Jumbotron screen at Yankee Stadium. Instead of design team leader Ty Pennington’s traditional morning wake up call to a deserving family, he stormed the field and announced the good news right before the game. Adding to the excitement of both the spectators and family alike, was the appearance of several New York Yankees baseball players who were there to give encouragement and support. Also, hundreds of volunteer workers, clad in the now- iconic “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” blue shirts, ran out from the dugout to join the Lutz family, Ty and fellow designers on the baseball field. In an episode that will air later this season, the theme of this build will be “New York! New York!” There will be a Broadway-like production with the entire blue shirt crew and design team singing and dancing while the home is being demolished. Also during the week of the build, there will be an extravagant parade on the family’s block complete with huge floats. The Lutzes are another representation of the kind of family “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” aims to help by building a new home in just seven days. Unable to have children of their own, loving couple Grace and John Lutz gave their hearts to 18 adopted kids in all, including seven with Down Syndrome.  After the couple passed away, their daughter, Kathleen, gave up her career and gladly came home to take care of six siblings with Down Syndrome, who currently range in age from 20 to 25 years old. Everyone agreed that putting the kids in a group home or institution was not an option. It was a good plan, until Kathleen suddenly and unexpectedly had a grand mal seizure.  Her brother, John Jr., was next at bat, sacrificing his successful career as a gymnastics coach to move home and care for his sister and siblings. Kathleen’s health is now stabilized and both brother and sister care for their family as a team. Nothing can dampen the spirits of this cheerful group. They love to sing and dance, cook and play games together. But the crumbling condition of their 40-year-old home has become a concern. The electrical is unsafe, water leaks everywhere and there is mold and rotting wood. Everybody in town loves this charming and special family. They are local celebrities and the community rallies to help them in every way. Unfortunately, their home is at a point where band-aids are not enough. The siblings need their home to be a safe permanent one, with everything to accommodate their special needs. The Lutz family will go on vacation to The Hamptons while “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” team leader Ty Pennington, designers Paul DiMeo, Paige Hemmis, Tracy Hutson, local builder Alure Home Improvements and community volunteers rebuild their home. The art collection Ty Pennington and his design team put together for this week’s episode is stunning.  Gallery Direct’s reputation for making custom art quickTM gave the designers just what they needed to stay on schedule.  Gallery Direct’s Joseph Garcia concluded, “Again, we are thrilled to be part of this epic program.  We’ll be on the edge of our seats until the show airs. Go Yankees!” About Gallery Direct Gallery Direct, a division of New Era Portfolio, a privately held company, is the global leader in providing fine art solutions. The company publishes, manufactures, and markets limited edition artwork and custom image-based products. Its expertise in managing artists, portfolios and forecasting style trends allows the company to deliver current, vital artwork to corporate and hospitality design arenas, a prestigious collection of retail clients, and directly to the consumer. Its technological command not only delivers fine custom artwork quickly, but also creates web-based solutions for blue chip retailers. Gallery Direct is proud to be creating fine American-made artwork for 10 years. For more information, please visit http://www.gallerydirect.com/. About “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” The Emmy award winning reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” now in its eighth season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It’s executive-produced Brady Connell and George Verschoor. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The show airs Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET on ABC.
There is a theory that power (the notion of what it is and what it represents) is trumped by seduction.  Chiefly, that power is weaker than seduction because of its irreversibility.  A movement or a leader takes a stand forcing their program upon the public.  Whether it’s good (such as civil rights) or bad (such as Nazism), adversaries form an antithetical unit of power, opposing the dominate power to enact change; thus, power isn’t all powerful. Paradigms are born and those paradigms are destroyed by new paradigms, and so on.  In an advocacy sense, seduction (the notion of what it is and what it represents) is reversible, but seeks to influence and not command. In this manner, seduction is similar to the concept of the past, where the past influences everything, but dictates nothing.  Seduction works by influencing the seduced to act on behalf of the message.  The messages vary such as live healthy, become a custodian for the environment, be charitable.  Messages are more meaningful when are acted upon through individual choice, rather than dictated by a governmental force (of power) or a de facto movement.  At gallerydirect.com, we sometimes debate as part of our team-building exercises. These are useful discussions meant to encourage respect for our differences of opinion, while recognizing the need to converge as a team in order to be productive and in the end sell a bunch of artwork in the healthiest, most creative and most respectful way.  At one such event a question was posed by our moderator.  Who is the greatest American activist? Some said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., others, Malcolm X; there were some RFKs, some JFKs and one Ronald Reagan (weird I know).  As you can imagine a very lively discussion ensued. The only candidate presented that wasn’t assassinated or shot at was Bill Cosby.  I wish I had said that.  MLK, Malcolm X, the Kennedys and Reagan are symbols of power.  Cosby is an entertainer.  Yet the case was convincingly made that he’s done more for civil rights than any African-American, past or present. A non-activist activist.  Civil rights works best when acceptance is promoted. Who wouldn’t want to give rights to the “accepted?” Furthermore, what good are the rights to the newly bestowed, if they are not accepted universally?  How does one become accepted? By having a march or an assembly? By making a rousing speech?  I’m not criticizing these by any means, but movements and demagoguing are examples of power, and with power there is resistance and sometimes violence and death.  The best way to influence change and live another day to influence more change is by seducing the ignorant and the undecided.  The best way to seduce is to entertain. Looking at Cosby’s television career, starting in 1965, he plays super-spy and scholar, “Scotty” in the groundbreaking and massively popular television show “I Spy.” His character was presented as an equal to his (white) partner “Kelly,” played by Robert Culp.  In “Scotty’s” realistic portrayal, by Cosby, race isn’t discussed or presented as an issue.  What’s more, he’s doing things that are not everyday, but rather things that are inspiring, while in the service of his country and chillin’ in exotic locations.  Moreover, “Kelly’s” acceptance and admiration for his partner “Scotty” translates to the audience’s acceptance and admiration. In the 1970s, Cosby goes to work on my personal favorite of his shows, “Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids.”  What’s really accomplished here?  He’s bringing the message of acceptance by showing kids being kids (much like the "Our Gang" series of Hal Roach), but the kids happen to be African-American.  This show influenced a whole generation of suburban white kids, watching Saturday morning cartoons.  Again race isn’t the issue, just kids living in the city and learning important life lessons. But in 1984, the debut of “The Cosby Show” took it to the next level. “The Cosby Show” was unparalleled in its depiction of an intellectual, prosperous, African-American family.  The show didn’t have to take a stance on race, instead became a prima facie statement of normal family life, promoting acceptance through entertainment by portraying acceptance.  Its symbol of change is cloaked in its portrayal of normalcy. To this day “The Cosby Show” remains the top rated show of all time.  We bring this case today, not because of our desire to show how our think tank operates, which has been described by some in the industry as radical.  We’re not trying to be overly philosophical, either.  Gallery Direct is beyond delighted to be involved with “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”  A series that we feel is a direct descendant of the work produced by Mr. Bill Cosby. This is a show that influences many Americans to contribute to their community and consider the circumstances of others, but does it in a manner that is more applicable to today’s world through spectacle, collective-heroism and hyper-philanthropy.  “EMHE” is celebrating its eighth season, which is how long “The Cosby Show” reigned.  Much like the programs of Bill Cosby, it promotes unity and hope and entertains at the same time.  In the end, entertainment is as important as the message because if the show wasn’t entertaining, no one would watch, would they?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE American fine art and specialty manufacturer of image-based products shown on the two-part episode, which airs SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 (7:00-8:00 & 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network, and signs agreement to be one of the show’s charitable contributors for every subsequent episode through Season 8 AUSTIN, Texas, September 22, 2010— Gallery Direct (http://www.gallerydirect.com/) announced its participation in ABC’s Emmy award winning, philanthropic reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” today.  Gallery Direct CEO Joseph Garcia stated with enthusiasm, “The entire staff of Gallery Direct is simultaneously excited and humbled to be involved with ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.’ We consider it a great honor to donate the artwork for season eight.  We are truly thankful to play a small part in improving the circumstances of the many families and communities, which the show assists each year. We are eager to see the star-studded season opener later this month.” “Boys Hope/Girls Hope,” Parts 1 & 2 – Ty Pennington and his design team, including new designers Xzibit and Jillian Harris, traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to surprise the students of Boys Hope/Girls Hope in a unique way and reveal to them that their lives were about to change. For the first time in the history of the show, the recipients were surprised on live television when the “EM: HE” team greeted the students with the good news. Another first in the show’s 170-plus episode history came unannounced, courtesy of Mother Nature, when an epic rainstorm threatened to knock the 11,000 square foot build off its strict seven-day schedule. Adding to the excitement, drama and fun of the build was the participation of the kids from the Emmy Award-winning comedy “Modern Family” (Ariel Winter, Nolan Gould, Rico Rodriquez), actress Raven-Symoné, basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal and music sensation Katy Perry. Boys Hope/Girls Hope in Baltimore, Maryland, invites students from difficult, at-risk backgrounds to live in a home that provides a safe environment, academic tutoring, mentoring and opportunities to give back to the community. Since 1991, 100% of the participants who completed the program have attended college. For now, there is only a home for the boys, giving them a secure place to live and excel academically and athletically. But the girls’ program, which just accepted its first seven members, does not have a building. The Boys Hope male scholars reached out for help to the “EM: HE” team to provide a place for the girls in their community that would offer them the same educational and emotional support that they enjoy. Their hope is that this new home away from home will change the lives of these young girls, as well as for future generations of promising young women. The seven-day build was challenged by some of the worst weather the show has faced. After installing the insulation, electrical wiring and drywall, it was all destroyed by a massive storm, putting the home in serious jeopardy. The kids from “Modern Family” arrived as reinforcements and provided lots of laughs along the way. Also, celebrity volunteer Shaquille O’Neal added an awesome yet educational touch to the new Girls Hope building. The seven young ladies from Girls Hope went on a star-studded vacation to Hollywood, with a special send off from their hero, Raven-Symoné, who stayed on in Baltimore to help the design team. Once in Hollywood, the girls met Katy Perry, their favorite pop superstar; and got a real taste of glitz and glam watching Katy at work in the recording studio at Hollywood landmark Capitol Records. Katy, along with new “EM: HE” team member Xzibit, designed a special room at Girls Hope inspired by Katy’s music video, “California Girls.” Ty Pennington and his design team put together a vast and beautiful collection of limited edition images from Gallery Direct for use in the new facility. The renowned fine art specialty manufacturer created the selection exactly to the team’s specifications. Gallery Direct’s Joseph Garcia concluded, “We were more than happy to make this small contribution to the beneficiaries of the Boys Hope/Girls Hope. We look forward to contributing more of our images as the season progresses. Giving away our artwork makes us very happy.” About Gallery Direct Gallery Direct, a division of New Era Portfolio, a privately held company, is the global leader in providing fine art solutions. The company publishes, manufactures, and markets limited edition artwork and custom image-based products. Its expertise in managing artists, portfolios and forecasting style trends allows the company to deliver current, vital artwork to corporate and hospitality design arenas, a prestigious collection of retail clients, and directly to the consumer. Its technological command not only delivers fine custom artwork quickly, but also creates web-based solutions for blue chip retailers. Gallery Direct is proud to be creating fine American-made artwork for 10 years. For more information, please visit http://www.gallerydirect.com/. About “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” The Emmy award winning reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” now entering its 8th season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It’s executive-produced Brady Connell and George Verschoor. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The show airs Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET on ABC.