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  • Writer's pictureagprat

On Vulnerability as a Road Map & The Art in Giving Gallery

Several meaningful conversations this past week triggered memories and deeper thoughts about the reasons behind my transition from science to art. An important element of the puzzle in forming my artist persona was an early diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) soon after arriving in the US. Learning about this, and the few relapses that I had early on after the diagnosis, are some of my darkest hours. Periods of anger and denial made their way into my days… Eventually, I accepted this disease as a wake-up call, a blessing in disguise, to help me pursue what I really wanted in life and to follow a path that was more creative and colorful – in which art played a critical part. I needed to embrace the zest of life and avoid postponing what made my life feel complete. From a clinical perspective, I have the luck and privilege that my MS has manifested mildly, compared to other cases I know of. However, the unpredictability of this disease has offered me a different perspective: I live every day thinking about the vulnerability of my body, my mind, and the volatility of this condition and its potential consequences to my life. I cannot afford to waste time not being creative and far from my art.

Having first-hand experience with a disease like MS has increased my empathy to those either suffering, directly or indirectly, the reality of a sickness. That is why, when I came across the initiative "Art in Giving", I was compelled to look carefully at this opportunity. “Art in Giving” raises funds for childhood cancer research through the sale of fine arts. It is exciting that 50% of the purchase price of the affiliated artists’ artwork sold via “Art in Giving” goes directly to talented cancer researchers working on breakthrough ideas to identify causes of and cures for pediatric cancer. As per their website, “Art in Giving” has granted $1.4 million in seed funding, to date, to researchers at institutions including Stanford University Medical School, The Broad Institute, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, to name a few. “Art in Giving” does so via corporations who either rent or purchase artworks from the artists.

I am deeply honored to have been accepted by this powerful organization, and thus, to offer artwork via Art in Giving and humbly contribute to the fight against cancer through my creations. I invite you to read the latest Art in Giving’s Spring/Summer 2021 Newsletter here.

Image: “Nowherescape”, oil on canvas, 32 x 32 inches, available via Art in Giving Gallery. If you have comments or questions, please contact me here.

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