Oscar C. Donahue

National Youth Spokesman at March of Dimes

Location:
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, New York, United States
Company:
March of Dimes
HQ Phone:
(914) 997-4488

Web References  

Parrot Head Jewelry by Oscar of New Orleans

In the middle of the Margaritaville Street Party during Meeting of the Minds in November, I heard someone say they heard Oscar in New Orleans wasn't making his fantastic Parrot Head jewelry anymore.
I was very happy to report that rumor is false: Oscar did indeed lose his source from which his plastic material came from, but he is now making his own material. Are you aware who Oscar is? He's Oscar Donahue, and he has been making wonderful, inexpensive jewelry at his kiosk in the New Orleans French Market for twenty years. A transplant from Missouri, Oscar was on the national staff of the March of Dimes, but eventually came to New Orleans with a job working for the United Negro College Fund. He began to draw portraits on the weekends in the French Market; and eventually, Oscar's Originals was formed in 1989. Parrot Head Jewelery by Oscar of New Orleans Oscar's jewelry includes many colorful designs and he always has a great deal of parrot-themed jewelry during Pardi Gras and the Six String Music Festival. Parrot Heads are an important clientele to Oscar. When he left New Orleans during Katrina (he barely found enough gasoline to get out of the city), he came back just before the next Pardi Gras and the Parrot Heads were a boom for restarting his business. He says his warmest relationship is with the Parrot Heads. Back to his jewelry material... the plastic supplier from which he got his material from the beginning of his jewelry career did close. Oscar contacted craft stores across the country to find the material, but he wasn't successful. In order to survive, he taught himself how to make the material. He now has job #1 to make the designs, but his job #2 is making the plastic material. Even though it takes 3-4 hours a day to make the plastic, he says "every day is a joy to be here." Parrot Head Jewelery by Oscar of New Orleans I've told Oscar for years that when I see other women wearing his jewelry, it's as if we are a part of the "Oscar Sorority. As I sat during our interview at his kiosk, he would rise to greet customers with a genuine "Welcome! Is this 'Welcome back?'" I hope all attending Pardi Gras will go see this wonderful artist. As Oscar says, "I have a family reunion here every day!" Parrot Head Jewelery by Oscar of New Orleans Follow up for more designs and Parrot Head jewelry on Oscar's website: Oscar of New Orleans

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About - Oscar of New Orleans

Oscar C. Donahue, III was born November 25, 1955 in Kansas City, MO. Strong family bonds and an abundance of love made Oscar feel as if he were a prince, despite growing up in the inner city with minimal resources.
One of his most powerful recollections in childhood was demanding a clarinet in the third grade and somehow his mother came up with one so he could play in the band. Oscar first discovered his artistic aptitude at age 5, when his first drawing of a dolphin drew oohs and ahhs. Throughout his childhood, he drew sketches and enjoyed his gift, always dreaming of sending off pictures to the Art Institute in Chicago that was advertised in the back of comics. Oscar also discovered his gift of communication, which both came naturally and from watching his father teach in Sunday school using powerful words and an eloquence that was mesmerizing. Upon entering high school, Oscar played in the band and decided during his freshman year that he was going to become senior class president; he began a 4 year campaign that resulted in his dream coming true. He also began volunteering for the March of Dimes and became the anchorman for a closed circuit television student news program that brought him many honors. Although his artistic passion took a backseat, he continued to draw sketches and fell in love with Dali, Picasso, and Gaugain. Picture A scholarship to Baker University in Kansas and then a transfer to Washington University in St. Louis introduced Oscar to the theatre where he starred in several college plays while becoming a national youth spokesman for the March of Dimes, traveling through out the country speaking to various youth groups. Oscar was headed towards law school and becoming a corporate lawyer until he spoke with a few corporate lawyers who told him they made lots of money but were unhappy. Upon graduation from college, Oscar began working for the March of Dimes and was promoted to the national staff in White Plains, New York, where he stayed for four years, living in Harlem and riding the train to work each day, secretly drawing sketches of passengers and maintaining that inner fire. Also, a role as the Tin Man in an off off Broadway play in the "Wiz" and singing in nightclubs gave Oscar the complete artistic fulfillment he craved. Needing to change, Oscar moved to New Orleans in 1984 where he worked with the United Negro College Fund; he then began teaching and, for "therapy", worked weekends in the French Market drawing portraits. Five years later, married with two stepsons and his child on the way, Oscar looked to find a way to increase his income and decided to make jewelry. Picture Oscar's Originals was founded in 1989 shortly before his daughter Liana was born, and began slowly, almost collapsing in the first year...but it survived, mostly due to sheer desperation from not wanting to work for anyone else and fearing his most haunting quote he learned in college, "most men lead lives of quiet desperation". Oscar's Originals survived and has grown into something special ... in addition to being a fixture at the Flea market, Oscar has been a regular exhibitor at the Jazz and Heritage Foundation since 1991 and at the Essence Fest since 1996. People throughout the world now enjoy his whimsical, colorful creations! When in New Orleans, be sure to visit Oscar at the French Market's Flea Market! Website by Debra Clark Graphics

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About - Oscar of New Orleans

Oscar C. Donahue, III was born November 25, 1955 in Kansas City, MO. Strong family bonds and an abundance of love made Oscar feel as if he were a prince, despite growing up in the inner city with minimal resources.
One of his most powerful recollections in childhood was demanding a clarinet in the third grade and somehow his mother came up with one so he could play in the band. Oscar first discovered his artistic aptitude at age 5, when his first drawing of a dolphin drew oohs and ahhs. Throughout his childhood, he drew sketches and enjoyed his gift, always dreaming of sending off pictures to the Art Institute in Chicago that was advertised in the back of comics. Oscar also discovered his gift of communication, which both came naturally and from watching his father teach in Sunday school using powerful words and an eloquence that was mesmerizing. Upon entering high school, Oscar played in the band and decided during his freshman year that he was going to become senior class president; he began a 4 year campaign that resulted in his dream coming true. He also began volunteering for the March of Dimes and became the anchorman for a closed circuit television student news program that brought him many honors. Although his artistic passion took a backseat, he continued to draw sketches and fell in love with Dali, Picasso, and Gaugain. Picture A scholarship to Baker University in Kansas and then a transfer to Washington University in St. Louis introduced Oscar to the theatre where he starred in several college plays while becoming a national youth spokesman for the March of Dimes, traveling through out the country speaking to various youth groups. Oscar was headed towards law school and becoming a corporate lawyer until he spoke with a few corporate lawyers who told him they made lots of money but were unhappy. Upon graduation from college, Oscar began working for the March of Dimes and was promoted to the national staff in White Plains, New York, where he stayed for four years, living in Harlem and riding the train to work each day, secretly drawing sketches of passengers and maintaining that inner fire. Also, a role as the Tin Man in an off off Broadway play in the "Wiz" and singing in nightclubs gave Oscar the complete artistic fulfillment he craved. Needing to change, Oscar moved to New Orleans in 1984 where he worked with the United Negro College Fund; he then began teaching and, for "therapy", worked weekends in the French Market drawing portraits. Five years later, married with two stepsons and his child on the way, Oscar looked to find a way to increase his income and decided to make jewelry. Picture Oscar's Originals was founded in 1989 shortly before his daughter Liana was born, and began slowly, almost collapsing in the first year...but it survived, mostly due to sheer desperation from not wanting to work for anyone else and fearing his most haunting quote he learned in college, "most men lead lives of quiet desperation". Oscar's Originals survived and has grown into something special ... in addition to being a fixture at the Flea market, Oscar has been a regular exhibitor at the Jazz and Heritage Foundation since 1991 and at the Essence Fest since 1996. People throughout the world now enjoy his whimsical, colorful creations! When in New Orleans, be sure to visit Oscar at the French Market's Flea Market! Website by Debra Clark Graphics

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