COLLABORATING ARTIST: SHEILA PITT
Creativity… Connectivity… Community… It takes a Village!
IT IS OUR HONOR TO FEATURE, AFT CELEBRITY AMBASSADOR ARTIST, PROFESSOR SHEILA PITT. PROFESSOR PITT IS HERSELF A VIBRANT, TALENTED LEVEL 1 TRAUMA SURVIVOR.
Thank you, Professor Pitt, for your willingness to participate as a volunteer artist in the AFT artist network.
You are an amazing example of the power of positivity and possibilities of healing through art…of creative engagement on the long term recovery process from Level 1 trauma.
“After a catastrophic accident in 2008 that left me a quadriplegic I thought I would never make art again. With limited use of my left hand there was no way to cut wood, the print medium I had done most of my life. Using a Wacom tablet, my computer and Photoshop, I am able to draw again in a new way. My studio assistant manipulates Photoshop for me, I do all the drawing and image making. My assistant then processes the image. My prints since the accident are a visual diary which documents my slow but steady recovery.”
Her art today reflects her experience as a quadriplegic, combining themes of pain and frustration with a determination to move forward. She has two pieces in a show in California, another in a Boston Printmakers Association touring exhibition, and more in an international show in Bulgaria.
Pitt describes her work as not easy, occasionally satisfying, and generally frustrating. But her resolve is absolute. Today, using braces and a walker, she can now walk the length of a football field.
She has by no means faced this challenge alone. She attributes her successful return to a dedicated, caring support team. People like Art School Director Dennis Jones, her part-time assistant Aaron Miller, and the team at the University of Arizona Disability Resource Center have all played key roles in making it possible for Pitt to come back, ensuring that she had the studio assistance and resources she needed to not only teach, but start creating artwork again.
“The support from the faculty and my family when I was first injured was so overwhelming that it put a lot of pressure on me to get better,” she says. “It was more important than I ever realized that it could be. I couldn’t disappoint everybody. I had to get better.” (excerpt from “Wild Horses” article, University of Arizona website, March 2011).
Artist for Trauma’s Collaborating Artists
A large part and unique component of Artists For Trauma (AFT) is the wonderful generosity of our volunteer AFT artists. These artists are established and highly acclaimed in their various disciplines and artistic communities and richly give back to the community through the blessing of their talent.
AFT Artists give their time and creativity but mostly they share spirit. Loving compassionate human spirit through amazing collaboration with our Level 1 Trauma survivors.
AFT would like to recognize and respect these various artists.