Big Top Smiles
TUCSON, Ariz. – Three drawings by Mallory Parton, of Talladega, Ala., have 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 neuromuscular diseases.
Parton, 19, has had two previous drawings accepted into the Collection. She created “Walk at Your Own Pace” and “Spring is Here” while still in elementary school, and they were accepted into the Collection in 2003.
Parton graduated with honors from Talladega High School in 2010 and received a full academic scholarship to attend Central Alabama Community College. She maintained academic excellence throughout her first year of college, earning consistent recognition on the Dean’s List. She is currently planning to major in psychology and minor in graphic design.
Parton is affected by limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, which causes weakness in the voluntary muscles, mainly around the hips and shoulders.
The three latest works by Parton to join the collection are “Imagination Station,” which features a colorful plume of images emerging from the pages of a book; “Possibilities,” which shows scenes from different countries and continents surrounding a globe; and “Big Top Smiles,” a circus picture featuring a grinning clown riding a baby elephant.
Parton has been painting and drawing since early childhood. In addition to art, Parton also enjoys scrapbooking and online gaming.
“Imagination Station,” “Possibilities” and “Big Top Smiles” are on display at MDA’s national headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., and can be seen at mda.org/about/community-programs/art. The pieces also will be included in MDA Art Collection traveling exhibits.
“We’re pleased to receive three more works by Mallory Parton into the permanent MDA Art Collection,” MDA President & CEO Gerald Weinberg said. “Mallory’s work exemplifies the spirit of the collection – colorful, joyful and a reminder that individuals with neuromuscular diseases have much to contribute.”
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 University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital and Children's Hospital in Birmingham.
The Association’s programs are funded almost entirely by individual private contributors and cooperating organizations.