Brain injury patients show hidden talent in art show

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by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MegCoyleKING

KING5.com

Posted on July 6, 2010 at 6:24 PM

SEATTLE - A different kind of art show opened Tuesday at the Burke Museum in Seattle. It's a show that lets outsiders into a world no one should have to see. It's a show where perfection isn't the goal. Finding purpose is.

It's called Recreating Me. All of the works on display are by people who have been affected by a traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Kathleen Bell came up with the idea for the exhibit. Bell is the director of the University of Washington's Traumatic Brain injury Model System.

"Some of the people who are here tonight honestly don't communicate verbally very well because of the injuries they had. And this gives them another way to communicate who they are and what their feelings are," says Bell.

In fact, a lot of these artists weren't actual artists before their injury. Their trauma tapped into an ability they never knew was there.

"Clearing out some of their abilities seems to allow them to connect more into their emotional lives and be able to connect to an artistic expression of that," says Bell.

Stacy Rosevear is one of the exhibitors. She wants you to see her from the inside out through her paintings, even if it means going back to that dark place ten years ago when she suffered a massive stroke.

"This haunts me," says Rosevear, showing off her painting. "This is the view from my hospital bed of only being able to blink or just barely move my neck. I'm hoping that by painting this painting, it will haunt me a little less."

And at the same time, Rosevear hopes it inspires her new-found talent a little more.

"I will always be an artist," she says.

Despite all the bad she's endured, for Rosevear, life is finally good.

"We can still function and be a participant in the world and the show embodies that for me," she says.

The exhibit runs through July 11 at the Burke Museum on the University of Washington Campus.
 

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