Using painting to encourage more art students with disabilities to join Margaret Trowel School of Industrial and Fine Art (MTSIFA)
Nassuna, Jovia Kintu
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The development of disability art began in the 1970s/80s. This was the result of the new political activism of the disabled people's movement. The exact date the term came into use is currently unverified, although the first use of the term in the Disability Arys Chronology was in 1986. When we narrow down to painting, the first disabled painter was called Chuck Thomas Close and is an American citizen. Chuck Thomas is a photo realistic painter as well as a photographer who suffers from an illness known as prosopagnosia, which is also known as face blindness. Therefore, he is unable to recognize faces. By painting portraits, he is better able to recognize and remember faces. Some of his most famous recent paintings include a painting of Kate Moss in 2005, a painting of a child named Emma in 2002, among others. As I was doing my research, an article felt inspiring, (daunton,2015), the article entitled Disabled icons features legendary Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, one of the20* century's most important artists. Since her death in 1954, many people have used her works for different causes. Kahlo developed polio at age 6 and this led to her right leg being thinner that her left leg. At the age of 18, Kahlo was involved in a trolley car accident which left her with a broken spine, a broken pelvis and pierced abdomen. This is when she adopted painting through a lot of encouragement from her parents. Most of her paintings were self-portraits because she was always by herself since she could not move out of her room. Even though she was disabled, she did not let that overtake her. Most of her paintings show the pain and loneliness and this is assumed that she was trying to portray the actual experience she was having. This clearly shows the evidence that indeed art is a great skill that children with disabilities should be taught at early stages because this helps them express themselves even more. And therefore, this research is very important. A solution must be found to encourage more of the artists with disabilities take on art to higher and greater levels just like the legendary painters like Frida Kahlo. Kahlo's story teaches and shows that disabled people can and do achieve greatness and live full and productive lives just like everyone else.