2021 MSAA Art Showcase Artist of the Month

Omayra Rivera-Filardi

Bridgeport, CT

In 2010, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, my second autoimmune illness while 6 months pregnant. As an artist and Visual Arts teacher, I immediately noticed that I could not see the color red or the saturation of color from my right eye. I foolishly thought that I was having a relapse from the Myasthenia Gravis; it wasn’t.

At that time, not only was my right eye affected but I also had little control of my right hand which had small tremor like movements. With treatment my vision was restored but illustrating again was a tougher journey.

By re-directing my focus, I learned to live in the now. With time, I pushed myself to create art on a higher technical level, yet with deeper meaning for me. I have had relapses since then and they have not been painless but each time I learn and grow from them.

Art will always be my guiding light through the darkness that often fills my vision when I relapse. It enables me to cleanse myself spiritually from the dark thoughts and emotions that are often overlooked by people with MS.


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