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Tony Cruz | October 2022 Men In Motion

Tony Cruz giving a fist pump in front of his vision protection awareness campaign mural Westchester Avenue and Thieriot Avenue, Bronx. Tony is a Latino with dark hair and a goatee. He has a red, white and blue headband tied around his head.

Tony Cruz | October 2022 Men In Motion

Contents

“First graffiti artist to teach at the Metropolitan Museum, working with the visually impaired and the blind, to foster inner victorious visions to use art as a tool for self-therapy, self-enhancement, to deal with depression, anxiety. To take the negative and flip it to a positive.”

~Tony Cruz

Editor’s Note

When I first met this month’s Man In Motion, Tony Cruz, he introduced himself as an artist and a poet. Yet the more we talked about the work he has done and his current projects I was able to see him as a thoughtful and giving advocate as well. Tony is on a mission to help people preserve their eyesight through understanding the dangers of LED light from the many devices we use on a daily basis.

Tony began his eyesight preservation project about four years ago and today he’s sharing the poem that inspired one of his many graffiti works. An active community member, this past weekend Tony was featured in the local news for awarding 11 scholarships for students to attend the after school program at the Bronx River Art Center.

As always, the transcription is below the YouTube video and below that are additional resources including a link to a collaboration of a song written by Tony featuring José Feliciano. Enjoy! ~Steph

Beyond Sight Magazine Cover

Tony Cruz giving a fist pump in front of his vision protection awareness campaign mural Westchester Avenue and Thieriot Avenue, Bronx. Tony is a Latino with dark hair and a goatee. He has a red, white and blue headband tied around his head. Text on the cover reads “Beyond Sight October 2022 | Men In Motion | Tony Cruz.”

YouTube Video

Do Not Kill Your Vision

Vision protection awareness mural campaign Bronx. Unobstructed view of the entire mural from the poem Tony read in his YouTube video.
Vision protection awareness mural campaign Bronx

Do not kill your vision, dim the lights and protect your eyes so you can enjoy the beautiful sights of life. So you can see the lovely smile on the face of your wife, so you can enjoy your newborn’s eyes for the first time. See your parents shed tears of joy and hear the cry. See your dying loved ones in their last look staring you dead in the eyes when they say goodbye. Do not kill your vision and dim the lights.

Tony Cruz an Artist, Poet & Advocate

My name is Tony Cruz RAM 2 I’m a 1980 South Bronx graffiti artist, advertising muralist. I’m a published poet. And that poem you heard there, before my vision protection campaign that I started four years ago, I launched it in New York City and Baruch College. It led me to speak at the United Nations, and also ran a partnership to share my vision protection campaign from the blue light and LED lights.

First graffiti artist to teach at the Metropolitan Museum, working with the visually impaired and the blind, to foster inner victorious visions to use art as a tool for self therapy, self enhancement, to deal with depression, anxiety. To take the negative and flip it to a positive.

Sight Loss Diagnosis Leads To Advocacy

4-Panel grid of photos where Tony was featured presenting to the United Nations. Clockwise from top left: 1) Tony interviewed by a reporter, 2) close-up side view of Tony's face in front of  his vision protection awareness mural 3) Tony is kneeling in front of the mural, 4) Tony is sitting behind a microphone at the UN.
4-Panel grid of photos where Tony was featured presenting to the United Nations

So what I did, I was diagnosed with Macular Telangiectasia Type 2 going on 15 years without having driven a car, I had to stay away from computers. My research is that blue LED lights is causing damage is killing the melatonin, it’s killing the oxygen. In my my science project, my research and science project I among and under research myself are my own guinea pig. And I’m going to heal my vision and share it with the world and share with others, is to work towards healing yourself towards healing your vision, healing your body, knowing how your emotions and the foods you eat, and everything affects the vision.

Bronx news 12 photo in front of Tony's hip hop New Road tribute. Tony and a news reporter in front of the mural with camera interviewing Tony.
Bronx news 12 photo in front of Tony’s hip hop New Road tribute

Also on focus that when we go through any vision loss, any blindness issues I have, my right eye is totally blurred out it’s black. And that is happening to my left eye. We go into a self pity, self, I call it involuntary self pity. But when you realize that you’re not the feeling and the emotion and we go into an occurrence and realize that we can pick ourselves up, revamp ourselves, recreate ourselves and deal with these challenges. And we got to keep our victorious visions alive.

My hip hop preservation project is entitled Victorious Visions Triumph Preserving the Essence of Hip Hop to uplift and encourage yourself and others and share it with the world. Lookup Dr. Bates Method do pressure point release for the eyes underneath the eyes. And the cheekbones are hopes to release the pressure. Also um, look up the Genius of Flexibility about stretching out and also breathing exercises a lot. Being human is not easy, but it’s a blessing when you start healing yourself is glory.

Expressions of Gratitude

Canvas panting: Text says "Man of faith man and family of faith" 16 inch by 20 in is a gift for a dear friend who shows faith in others.
Man of faith man and family of faith 16 inch by 20 in

Thank you to Steph, Stephanae, Stephanae McCoy from the Bold Blind Beauty and you keep doing a great job. Much respect to everybody out there with vision problems, blindness, especially all the blind people out here in this world. I say you are true courage to be in this crazy world. You are true courage and thank you for your inspiration. And I’m learning from you all.

All the workshops and the students that are benefiting from my messages I’m learning from you all too. Thank you to the partnerships and the sponsors and as all keep having a Victorius Visions Tony Cruz RAM 2 South Bronx peace ya’ll. Thank you to my mother, my grandmother, my dear family. Thank you to all peace.

Transcriptions by otter.ai.com

What Did I Do Wrong

Additional Resources:

Connecting With Tony

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Connecting With Bold Blind Beauty

Image Descriptions

  • Header, Beyond Sight Magazine Cover and YouTube Thumbnail are identical and feature Tony Cruz giving a fist pump in front of his vision protection awareness campaign mural Westchester Avenue and Thieriot Avenue, Bronx. Tony is a Latino with dark hair and a goatee. He has a red, white and blue headband tied around his head. Text on the cover reads “Beyond Sight October 2022 | Men In Motion | Tony Cruz.”
  • YouTube Video description: In the video, Tony is wearing a dark top with a black ballcap that says “Essential Graffiti Art Therapy Teacher.”
  • Vision protection awareness mural campaign Bronx – Unobstructed view of the entire mural from the poem Tony read in his YouTube video.
  • 4-Panel grid of photos where Tony was featured presenting to the United Nations – Clockwise from top left: 1) Tony interviewed by a reporter, 2) close-up side view of Tony’s face in front of his vision protection awareness mural 3) Tony is kneeling in front of the mural, 4) Tony is sitting behind a microphone at the UN.
  • Bronx news 12 photo in front of Tony’s hip hop New Road tribute. Tony and a news reporter in front of the mural with camera interviewing Tony.
  • Canvas panting: Text says Text says “Man of faith man and family of faith” 16 inch by 20 in is a gift for a dear friend who shows faith in others.
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