TUCSON, Ariz. – Brian Groh, an artist and high school student from Temecula, Calif., has had a painting 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 neuromuscular diseases.
In Our Hands
“In Our Hands” is the first painting by Groh, 18, to be accepted into the Collection. A senior at Chaparral High School, Groh is affected by myotonia congenita, a form of muscular dystrophy that causes muscle stiffness and delayed muscle relaxation, often brought on by sudden movements after rest.
Groh has received several awards for his work, including first place at the Chaparral High School art show and first place at the Temecula Rotary Club Run through the Vineyards art show.
“In Our Hands” is a mixed media painting of a boy holding a globe, which illustrates youth’s responsibility for care of the Earth and its people. The globe’s vivid blue-green colors stand out in sharp contrast to the figure of the boy and the starry background behind him, both painted in muted, black-and-white tones.
Groh has been painting for 12 years, and has taught a summer art camp. In addition to painting, he enjoys science and sports, especially soccer.
“In Our Hands” is on display at MDA’s national headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., and can be seen at mda.org/about/community-programs/art. The piece also will be included in MDA Art Collection traveling exhibits.
“We’re honored to have the work of such a talented young artist included in the permanent MDA Art Collection,” MDA President & CEO Gerald Weinberg said. “This painting is a powerful and poignant reminder that young people are the future, and that it is incumbent on all of us to help create a world where the contributions of all people, including those with neuromuscular diseases, are recognized and valued.”
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 is a voluntary health agency working to defeat muscle diseases through programs of research, services, advocacy and professional and public health education. MDA maintains clinics for area adults and children at the Children's Hospital of Orange County, the Loma Linda University Pediatric Neuroscience Center in San Bernardino, and the University of California, Irvine Medical Center in Orange.
The Association’s programs are funded almost entirely by individual private contributors and cooperating organizations.