TUCSON, Ariz. – A digital painting by Haleigh Maurice of Royal Oak, Mich., has been accepted into the MDA Art Collection. Now in its 19th year, the Collection features artwork by people from across the country with muscular dystrophy and related disorders.
“Three Cottages in Saints-Marie” (an homage to Vincent Van Gogh) is the first work by Maurice, 53, to be accepted into the Collection. She created the simple black-and-white block-print-style line drawing with the help of a computer and graphic arts programs.
Haleigh Maurice is affected by Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), an inherited disorder that has left her hands paralyzed. Maurice also has diminished vision. Always artistic, she had been frustrated by her lack of dexterity and visual acuity, but technology now allows her to create beautiful pictures on her computer. Some of her artwork can be seen at www.haleighmaurice.com.
“My mother was a wonderful artist and encouraged my interest in art as a child,” Maurice said. “Following her death five years ago, I took up art more seriously as a form of therapy. I find it very stimulating.”
Maurice, who has been married for 29 years to her husband Mark, has participated in several art shows in Royal Oak. In October 2010, she had six pieces in a show at Gallery U, a new gallery downtown that features work by people with brain injuries and neurological disorders. She also currently has several pieces in another show at the 5/15 Media gallery in Royal Oak.
Maurice has a longstanding connection to MDA. In 1968-69, when her name was Holly Schmidt, she served as the Association’s National Goodwill Ambassador.
“Three Cottages in Saints-Marie” 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 thrilled to welcome Haleigh Maurice’s artwork into the permanent MDA Art Collection,” MDA President & CEO Gerald Weinberg said. “This digital painting will undoubtedly delight all who see it at our national office in Tucson, or in galleries and museums as part of special exhibits of the Collection.”
The 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 neuromuscular 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 and children at the Adult MDA Clinic at Harper University Hospital and Children's Hospital of Michigan, both in Detroit, and the Michigan Institute for Neurological Disorders in Farmington Hills.
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.