This article, entitled "Mouth Artist Mariam Paré Triumphs Over Tragedy," is presented by Mouth and Foot Painting Artists.
“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” - Christopher Reeve
Mariam Paré was born to be an artist. From childhood, she always loved to paint which continued through school and into college where she was an aspiring and talented art student.
Then, tragedy struck in 1996. Mariam was caught in a cross-fire of gang violence while driving a friend’s car and was shot in the back by an unknown assailant. That attack rendered this talented artist a quadriplegic; permanently unable to walk with significant loss of use of her upper extremities.
After a long period of rehabilitation, Mariam was taught to hold a pencil in her mouth to write her name. That single lesson became the key to discovering a new approach to painting and a way to become more self-sufficient. Now, thanks to the financial support being a member of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists provides, Mariam is again able to follow her dream and create beautiful works of art.
In the video below, hear how Mariam and others like her are rising above their disabilities.
The Mouth and Foot Painting Artists is a worldwide for profit organization that is owned and controlled by disabled artists. It is not a charity and its members earn their living by having their paintings reproduced as Holiday greeting cards and calendars. The MFPA has been trading in the USA for over 50 years and has more than 800 artists (69 US artists) in nearly 80 countries. Mariam volunteers for the RIC Associate Board and donates fifty percent of the sales of her art to the art therapy department of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Her hope is to keep learning and growing as an artist and to continue to sharing her work and spirit with others.