TUCSON, Ariz., Jan. 15, 2014 — Two acrylic paintings created by Alexander John Amble Gravdahl, of Woodbury, Minn., have been accepted into the Muscular Dystrophy Association Art Collection. Now in its 22nd year, the Collection features artwork by people from across the country with muscular dystrophy and related disorders.
“Thunder” and “Apples Pearing” are Alex’s first donations accepted into the Collection. His inspiration for these paintings came from his personal interests and other artists.
Besides painting, his other hobbies include drawing, photography, fused glass and playing the piano. Alex’s works have won awards at many exhibits and juried shows at the Minnesota State Fair, the Washington County Fair, in exhibits in Minneapolis and at other local Woodbury events.
Along with his brother and mother who are also artists, the family has hosted an annual art show and sale in their home, donating the proceeds to various charities, including MDA.
Alex has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), a genetic disease which causes muscle weakness and atrophy and a loss of sensation in the feet, lower legs, hands and forearms.
He began playing the piano when he was three years old, attended various music schools and has been writing his own music since the age of 11. Alex’s current goal is to raise $1 million for MDA through his piano music. He has recorded a CD and also is performing at venues in his area.
“Thunder” and “Apples Pearing” are on display at MDA’s national headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., and can be seen here. The pieces also will be included in MDA Art Collection traveling exhibits.
“We’re honored to receive these wonderful paintings by Alex into the permanent MDA Art Collection,” said MDA Community Relations Manager Courtney McEleney.
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 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 maintains clinics for area children and adults at Gillette Children Specialty Healthcare, University of Minnesota, Fairview University Medical Center and the Duluth Clinic.
The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. It does so by funding worldwide research; by providing comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide; and by rallying communities to fight back through advocacy, fundraising and local engagement. Visit mda.org and follow us at facebook.com/MDAnational and @MDAnews.