Snow on the Brain: Living with Multiple Sclerosis -- A Collaborative Exhibition of Art by Marguerite McDonald and Poetry by Marylou DiPietro
Soon after being diagnosed with MS thirteen years ago, artist Marguerite McDonald began keeping a "visual journal" to interpret the impact of the disease on all aspects of her life, including her art. Poet Marylou DiPietro was immediately drawn to the powerful images, symbols, and emotions in these paintings, which are frank and direct regarding Marguerite's condition. They also affirm life's beauty and meaning.
By speaking through
image and word, Snow on the Brain brings art and
literature to medical and educational communities while retaining its
universal appeal. The show includes 12 paintings and poems, a poetry
reading, and a full-color catalog. The UrbanArts Institute at MassArt,
under Director Ricardo Barreto, leads curatorial planning with the assistance of Madeleine LePere. http://www.urbanartsinstitute.org
partner Very Special Arts Massachusetts hosts the show at The Open Door Gallery in Boston from March 19th - May 21st, 2012, with a reception and poetry reading on April 12. http://www.vsamass.org/gallery.php
Funding covers the multimedia presentation of this exhibition,
including administrative/production costs, framing/mounting, transportation, photography, and catalog
Marguerite's paintings contemplate the profound and prosaic effects of a life- changing disease, and explore how the external world and it's toxic agents work their way inside her body and consciousness. The poem Virus begins:
A single thread escapes from outer space and finds its way into Marguerite's warm, lush body.
The audience/viewer/reader participates in this journey into a life in flux. The art and the poetry explore and examine people's largest fears, their smallest indignities and the triumph of the human spirit. For example, the poem Acceptance asks:
How does one continue to find the will to beat the drum when the accompaniment has ended?
By speaking for an alienated population, Snow on the Brain connects the worlds of art and literature with medical and educational communities, and the community at large. We learn from the poem titled Ladder that a person's passion and need to create and achieve, should not be defined by an outward infirmity:
Now there are only fine hewn rungs held together by this life we are bound to suffer and transcend.
There are only hands and feet doing what they do best: