Val Kilmer: A Blanket Of Hope And Comfort - Heroism Personified

Monday, December 7, 2009

Val Kilmer is a man of many accomplishments, he is a powerfully intense and hardworking actor, a melodic singer/songwriter, and writes amazing poetry with depth, poignancy, and humour. Not to mention he is an active humanitarian, dedicated to human and animal rights, Native American affairs, youth orientated programs, and helping to end violence against women. This is just the tip of Kilmer's iceberg.

In recent years, these charities have been the recipient of proceeds from sales of Kilmer's original CD Sessions With Mick, featuring songs penned with friend Mick Rossi, and his poetry anthology entitled Jack's Gandhi, inspired by a drawing created by his son, Jack.

Now we can add blanket designer to his list of accolades.These beautiful works of art are also being offered for sale from Kilmer's website, with proceeds going to the charities as always.

Kilmer and Liz Lake have designed 250 beautiful Limited Edition Pendleton Woollen Mills blankets, into which Kilmer's own signature has been interwoven into the bottom right corner. There are two designs, Gourd People and The Dude. Each individual blanket has a commemorative label indicating the series number. Here are their descriptions taken from Kilmer's official website store where these blankets can be purchased:

Blanket #1: Gourd People

Gourd People is inspired by New Mexico petroglyphs: ancient rock engravings found throughout the magnificent cliffs and mountain faces that epitomize the raw beauty of the “Land of Enchantment.” These images are inseparable from the State’s cultural landscape and the spirits of the ancient people who created them.

Blanket #2: The Dude

The Dude is based on the buffalo skull hanging in Val’s New Mexico home. A family of buffalo call Val’s ranch their home and this blanket is named for a baby buffalo born on the ranch this past year.

Kilmer explains the history of these amazing blankets:

"The blanket is a symbol of the rich trade history of the American Southwest. A constant of Native American life, the trade blanket is emblematic of our nation’s past. Historically, the blanket is an important communication device of emotion, of individual and community identity and status, a poetic statement with both ceremonial and practical uses. The gift of a trade blanket is a way of showing friendship, appreciation, honor and celebrating commemorative milestones and achievements."

The following is just a short list of the charities Kilmer has worked with over the years:

Operation Coming Home is a team of veterans, homebuilders, and other volunteers that are dedicated to providing free housing in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area to severely wounded veterans of recent Middle East wars. They help make a wounded veteran feel "right at home" in the Triangle.

The Wildlife Center is a charity that I have donated to for over ten years. We have released over one hundred wild animals on our wilderness retreat that Dr. Kathleen Ramsey has PERSONALLY treated. Please check it out.

I heartily support Eve Ensler's V-DAY efforts to help end violence against women and girls.

For 85 years, Associates on American Indian Affairs has been working to promote these goals and provide the critical elements that Native American Indian children and families need to live happy, healthy and productive lives.

Warehouse 21: Our mission is to inspire youth to empower themselves thorough artistic expression and productivity.

Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognised human rights for all.

Habitat For Humanity International seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.

Kilmer also has many exciting film projects in the works, all of them look interesting, but one of which in particular is the one I am most eager to see. As a major fantasy/sci-fi buff, I adored Kilmer as Madmartigan in Willow in the 80's, which is where I first became a fan.

In 2010, Kilmer will be returning to the fantasy genre when he stars in Tales Of An Ancient Empire, a story in which a princess is on a quest to unite the five greatest warriors to save her kingdom from a demon sorceress.

Also in the cast are Kevin Sorbo from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (which had an even more successful spin-off in the Xena: Warrior Princess series), and Christopher Lambert of Highlander fame. We can only hope Kilmer has only just begun his return to the fantasy genre and that similar projects may be under consideration. There is nothing more appealing than the idea that Val Kilmer and heroes are an appropriate fit.

~ Michael Holloway


OregonJac December 7, 2009 at 5:40 PM  
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