2013 MSAA Art Showcase Entrants
Pamela Bench – Raleigh, NC
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 7 years ago in 2005. My children at the time were 10 and 11 years old. I have always been an aspiring artist and have had a passion for doing still-life portraits. Following my diagnosis, it became very difficult for me to continue being an artist because I became complete numb in hands, feet, and other areas of my body. I also have partial loss of coordination and balance in addition to the numbness. One of the biggest challenges for me was the inability to control tremors in my hands, affecting my ability to be detailed in my drawings. Ever since I was presented with the opportunity to participate in this contest, it has made me more confident in my abilities to continue being an artist and challenge myself to be open to trying new forms of expression. Before I found out about this contest, I had completely lost confidence in my ability to continue expressing myself through my artwork. I have enjoyed the challenge of continuing to be an artist, and have broadened my interest to include portraits of people in my life instead of being limited to still-life and landscape artwork. I had packed away my paints, easel, and brushes because I felt that my disease had affected the quality of my work. My confidence and interest in art has been fully restored because of this contest in so many ways. I feel that my participation in this contest alone is a personal victory within itself for me because I was willing to try after years of doubting my ability to be the artist I was before my diagnosis. I will continue to challenge and push myself despite any struggle I may have due to this disease.
Maddie & Erin