TUCSON, Ariz.— A digital photograph taken by Yvonne Nieves, of Harvey, La., has been accepted into the Muscular Dystrophy Association Art Collection. Now in its 20th year, the Collection features artwork by people from across the country with muscular dystrophy and related disorders.
"Owl Team Six" is the third photograph from Nieves to be accepted into the Collection. The barn owl nest is in a box that has been equipped with a camera in the backyard of a home in Oceanside, Calif. Nieves was seated at her laptop computer, which also has a built-in camera, monitoring the mother owl and the hatching of the owlets which occurred in the spring of 2011.
This photo, described as a "screen shot" is just one of many that Nieves took while observing the pair of owls and the owlets. She has been studying the mother and father barn owl for nearly two years, and this was their first clutch of baby owls.
Nieves, 53, has enjoyed photography for more than 10 years. She is a moderator in a chat room about barn owls, and answers questions from adults and children. Her other hobbies include gardening and writing poetry. Nieves also enjoys spending time with her five grandchildren.
Nieves has central core disease (CCD), a genetic disorder that causes poor muscle tone and persistent muscle weakness; skeletal deformities including joint dislocations and scoliosis; and susceptibility to malignant hyperthermia, a dangerous, adverse reaction to anesthesia. She limits her walking and standing, and uses a wheelchair for mobility if she's going to be out for long periods of time.
"Owl Team Six" is on display at MDA's national headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., and can be seen at mda.org/about/community-programs/art-collection . The piece also will be included in MDA Art Collection traveling exhibits.
"We're honored to receive this amazing photograph by Yvonne Nieves into the permanent MDA Art Collection," said MDA Interim President and Medical Directory Valerie Cwik, M.D. "Her use of a laptop computer to monitor the parent owls and owlets is nothing short of a technological miracle."
The MDA Art Collection was established in 1992 to focus attention on the achievements of artists with disabilities and to emphasize that physical disability is no barrier to creativity.
It comprises nearly 400 works by artists age 2 to 84, representing all 50 states. Each artist is affected by one of the more than 40 diseases in MDA's program.
Selected art from the Collection has been exhibited at the Dallas Museum of Art; Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center and the Forbes Collection in New York City; Chicago Public Library; Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art; Los Angeles Children's Museum; Capital Children's Museum, Washington, D.C.; and many other sites.
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.
MDA maintains clinics for area children and adults at Children's Hospital and Louisiana State University, both in New Orleans.