Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Dorothy O'Brien

Location

Corvalles, OR

Dorothy received a master’s degree in library science and has retired from her career of 25 years as a medical librarian. She has been painting off and on for 20 years. Dorothy was the Oregon state recipient of the Robert Ross MDA Personal Achievement Award in 2008. In addition to painting, her hobbies include reading and researching medical questions.

Full name: 
Dorothy O'Brien
Artist: 
Dorothy O'Brien
Disease: 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Medium: 
Watercolor

Susan Robertson

Location

Hope Mills, NC

Susan worked 25 years as an X-ray technician. She began painting after receiving the diagnosis of ALS. Susan also collected postcards from countries around the world.

Full name: 
Susan Robertson
Artist: 
Susan Robertson
Disease: 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Medium: 
Oil

Gary Spradling

Location

Brooklyn, NY

This work commemorates a piece Gary created showing himself in a wheelchair and using a ventilator — seven years before his diagnosis of ALS. He received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Southwest Missouri State University, and a master’s degree in fine arts from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, in Baltimore. Gary began creating paintings and sculptures in high school. His works have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums.

Full name: 
Gary Spradling
Artist: 
Gary Spradling
Disease: 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Medium: 
Mixed Media

William Ross

Location

Bronxville, NY

Bill was a retired high school teacher, and author of two plays and a children’s novel. This artwork was inspired by Bill’s interest in baseball and his admiration of Lou Gehrig, who retired from baseball in 1939 after receiving a diagnosis of ALS. Bill painted this work by holding the paintbrush in his mouth. He donated two other paintings to the Art Collection.

Full name: 
William Ross
Artist: 
William Ross
Disease: 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Medium: 
Opaque Watercolor

Tom Williams

Location

Cato, NY

Tom began painting in 1995. He held the paintbrush in his mouth to create his works, which captured his love of mountain pastures, valleys and lakes.

Full name: 
Tom Williams
Artist: 
Tom Williams
Disease: 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Medium: 
Watercolor

Douglas Hendrickson

Location

Lesterville, MO

Douglas graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design with a bachelor’s degree in fine art and a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota. He taught sculpture and design at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, for many years and also became a blacksmith. After opening his own forge business in Lesterville, his nickname became “Dr. Iron.” Douglas received the Robert Ross 2007 MDA Personal Achievement Award for Missouri.

Full name: 
Douglas Hendrickson
Artist: 
Douglas Hendrickson
Disease: 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Medium: 
Iron Sculpture

Dan Beacome

Location

Alma, MI

Dan worked for the Ford Motor Company for many years. After receiving a diagnosis of ALS at age 30, he left work and began helping others. He campaigned for barrier-free buildings, advocated for those with disabilities and became an artist. Dan created paintings by balancing a paintbrush between his teeth to transform blank canvases into works of art that vary from landscapes to portraits. In 1993, he received the MDA Personal Achievement Award for Michigan.

Full name: 
Dan Beacome
Artist: 
Dan Beacome
Disease: 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Medium: 
Oil

Fred Siwak

Location

Chelsea, MA

Fred has been painting for more than 30 years but began working on linoleum block images after receiving a diagnosis of ALS. He has exhibited his block prints in local galleries and shows, and also creates greeting cards and computer artwork.

Full name: 
Fred Siwak
Artist: 
Fred Siwak
Disease: 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Medium: 
Linoleum Block

David Emmert

Location

Moline, IL

David received a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and taught junior high school art for 13 years. Prior to his retirement, he designed layouts for landscape projects. David hasn’t painted for several years, but after receiving a diagnosis of ALS, he resumed painting his favorite subjects – landscapes.

Full name: 
David Emmert
Artist: 
David Emmert
Disease: 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Medium: 
Oil

Lois Lewis

Location

Flossmoor, IL

Lois studied at the Cleveland Art Institute, Ohio Wesleyan University and the Chicago Theological Seminary. She was a professional artist for 40 years and participated in numerous shows in and around Chicago. Lois owned the Siol Art Gallery in Flossmoor.

Full name: 
Lois Lewis
Artist: 
Lois Lewis
Disease: 
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Medium: 
Wood Carving

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