Art Ability at the Bryn Mawr Rehab Center in Paoli has an annual art extravaganza featuring the art work of artists with disabilities. Dr. Susanna Saunders and the Art Ability committee has been very kind to DoN over the past years including his work in their annual art show, showcasing his photography in the BMRH gift shop and even loaning works to The Philadelphia Museum of Art. Now, through their efforts an Art Ability exhibition will be on public display at The Philadelphia Foundation Community Art Gallery, the 37th show since 2000 and will run throughout the Summer of 2012. The gala reception is Friday, May 4th.
The featured artists in the show have physical and neurological disorders including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke and other conditions including blindness and deafness. DoN struggles with a chronic auto-immune disorder called Crohn’s disease, so when you see him at your art events and comment on how skinny he is, that’s why. Wallace Simpson said, “You can never be too rich or too thin.” It’s a matter of perspective; DoN’s life is rich with friends and culture but also feels like the incredible shrinking man.
Gratefully, DoN‘s disability is manageable with new medicines but many of his Art Ability friends have been dealt a difficult hand. That’s where the healing power of art comes into play; engrossing oneself in the act of making art enables the artist to transcend the physical limitations and express to the world how injury, pain and disorder can be compensated artistically. Art is a beautiful solution to a deeply confounding problem.
Written by DoN Brewer