TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 19, 2011 – A painting by Darren Guest, of Reisterstown, Md., has been accepted into the Muscular Dystrophy Association Art Collection. Now in its 19th year, the Collection features artwork by people from across the country with muscular dystrophy and related disorders.
“Summertime at Camp Maria” is the first artwork by Guest, 19, to be accepted into the Collection. The oil painting on canvas depicts an impressionistic landscape at sunset. Yellow and orange rays of light shimmer on the water, while in the foreground a lone dock and trees in shadow create a quiet, reflective mood.
Guest’s painting was inspired by the many happy times he spent at MDA camp as a child. He enjoyed swimming, crabbing and fishing from the dock, squirt gun fights, and spending time with fellow campers and counselors as well as with the special guests who would come to visit.
Guest is affected by congenital muscular dystrophy and has used a wheelchair for mobility since he was 6 years old. He breathes with the help of a respirator and has a pacemaker to stabilize his heartbeat.
Guest has been painting and drawing since early childhood.
He honed his skill at Sudbrook Magnet Middle School and the George Washington Carver Center for the Arts and Technology in Towson. He attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and currently studies at Zoll Studio of Fine Arts, a private art school in Timonium.
Guest’s work has appeared in several shows at Zoll studio, the Carver Center and the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. Upon graduating from Carver in 2009, Guest received the Spirit of Carver Award at the senior awards ceremony. He has sold many pieces and has a waiting list of commissions.
In addition to art, Guest also enjoys listening to music and playing video games. He is fascinated by cartoon animation and has experimented with computer-enhanced imagery in his work.
“Summertime at Camp Maria” is on display at MDA’s national headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., and can be seen at mda.org/about/community-programs/artcollection.html. The piece also will be included in MDA Art Collection traveling exhibits.
“We’re honored to receive this beautiful painting by Darren Guest into the permanent MDA Art Collection,” MDA President & CEO Gerald Weinberg said. “Darren’s use of color and perspective demonstrate his immense talent and ability to communicate through art.”
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 some 380 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 maintains clinics for area adults at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
MDA is a voluntary health agency working to defeat muscle diseases through programs of research,