Arachnoiditis Survivor: A Portrait of Resilience Against Patient Harm In America (2014-2017) > Project Launch 2014

The healing power of art is a force to be reckoned with. My constant companion, the art I make carries common themes revolving around the human condition.

Art For Arachnoiditis is An Art, Adaptability and Empowerment Project about Living With Arachnoiditis. It is a Charitable Project of SheilaLynnK Art Studio fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Funding for this project will support:
Independent Publications of Written Works by Spinal Arachnoiditis Survivors
Empowerment Project Website,
Arachnoiditis Survivors' Conceptual Portrait Series,
Digital Photography Series Documenting Permanent Injury and Adaptability
Art + Adaptability = Healing Presentation and Independent Adaptive Art Activity
Survivors' Art Exhibit
These components make up a cultural record of: the need for & development of reasonable accommodations in the art studio, the journey through medical injury and subsequent permanent disability, navigating legal liability, coping, recovery, discovery of the hidden arachnoiditis survivor population, and rehabilitation depicting Art as a function of survival, empowerment, and human connection in the culture of chronic pain and medical harm.

In the book, powerful original imagery will show the restoration of independence, resilience, physical & emotional recovery through resourceful evolution of art skills and studio development. The physicality of the art-making process becomes physical rehabilitation and sustenance during the course of these independent and imaginative art projects. This US Army Veteran, torn down and ripped apart by the acceptable average standard of medical care and the bureaucracy which protects it in the United States, is restored and empowered as an artist and a person working with other Spinal Arachnoiditis Survivors. The book will include the Survivors' Stories registered in the 2014-2015 project Cycle.

A SECOND book will contain Survivors' Stories and written works submitted by other Survivors during the 2015-2016 project cycle.
During YEAR 2:
Follow the project for Announcements about the Second Survivors' Exhibit
NEW Opportunities for the writers in the Survivor Community to celebrate the power of the pen as we launch an Art For Arachnoiditis Project Independent Publishing Service for Arachnoiditis Survivors.
The interactive Website: encourages healing through art and methods for arachnoidits survivors to document survival and adaptation, establish a venue to publicize arachnoidtis awareness/prevention events, and supply credible resources for survivors.

The Original Digital Photography Series catalogs the real time permanent injury and adaptations of Arachnoiditis Survivor Volunteers from the existing recovering community throughout the United States. These images are displayed in project publications and exhibits.

The Conceptual Portrait Series consists of original illustrations of these Survivor Volunteers, drawn via original digital photographs and Reasonable Accommodations in the Studio with the intention to convey the humanity which still exists within the patient.

This pictorial project communicates the impact of medico-legal, political jargon & policies via visual representations intellectually accessible to the general population.

This union of classical & conceptual creative influences with natural & anatomical discoveries results in unique personal imagery used to convey the individual and subsequent societal ramifications of the status quo while demonstrating an inherent faith in the healing power of art and the eventual fortitude of humanity.

At the time of my initial medical injury (2007) in addition to the pain and neurological complications; I lost my job, my balance & coordination, and much of the use of the left side of my body. The first project featured in this series, Still Standing(2009), was a deliberate, independent, rehabilitative, 5 month effort to regain fine motor skills. As I had never seen or done paper sculpture before this injury, it was inspired by an incidental encounter with the paper sculpture of Peter Callesen.

I strongly believe that art can maintain the connectivity and faith that are crucial to the human condition. Any support you can offer toward the community expansion of this initially individual rehabilitative art project is greatly appreciated. Thank you

This art empowerment & advocacy project has been made possible through:
the encouragement of the members of Life With Arachnoiditis, Arachnoiditis Foundation, and Arachnoiditis Society for Awareness and Prevention, and The Office of NYS Senator Catharine Young, as well as, Vocational and Rehabilitation Services Provided by ACCESS-VR and the Jones Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation Services Staff & Pain Management Team members, Billy Carstens, D.O. and Gary Mann, FNP and the continued support of friends and family members.

Multistate Outbreak of Fungal Meningitis

FDA Letter June 2012: Arachnoiditis as a Complication of Epidural Steroid Injections

FDA AERS REPORT 11/01/1997- 8/27/2012

The Burton Report

Life With Arachnoiditis
The Arachnoiditis Foundation
Arachnoiditis Society for Awareness and Prevention

Full Project Summary
Work In Progress

The project is intended to send an empowering message to: arachnoidtis survivors, persons living with chronic pain, administrative bodies governing medical policies resulting in adverse outcomes, professionals teaching/administering healing through art, employers who must accommodate arachnoiditis in the work place, and other artists with disabilities.

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