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Woman perseveres with artwork

Friday 13 January 2012


From US publication the Standard Speaker:


Christa Alford
Christa Alford

Woman perseveres with artwork

Published: January 9, 2012

An Eagle Rock woman isn't letting her disability interfere with her goals.

Christa Alford, who has chronic fatigue syndrome, had her artwork chosen for the book "Sculpture and Design with Recycled Glass" by Cindy Ann Coldiron.

Being among the 40 artists selected from around the world is exciting, Alford said, because she's been making recycled glass mosaics for 10 years.

She started soon after she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue, a debilitating disorder that saps her of her energy.

"I was very sick," Alford said. "I couldn't leave my house, and of course, I was bored. I always liked mosaics, but I couldn't go out and buy the supplies."

She decided to use glass available in her home.

"I started breaking picture frames and mirrors and putting them together," she explained. She often hand paints the broken pieces, too.

Over the years, she's made hundreds of mosaics. In the beginning, she'd give them away as gifts. And a few years ago, while she was living in Bucks County, she had a few of her pieces featured in regional art galleries.

She was scouring the Internet for opportunities earlier this year when she found information about the book.

"It said that they wanted artists who work with recycled glass," she said. "I sent in two pictures of my artwork, and they chose one of them."

"Wings for Bill"
"Wings for Bill"

The piece is called "Wings for Bill" and is dedicated to Alford's late husband, Bill, who died of brain cancer in 2009. It measures 28 by 40 inches, and components include glass from a tray and mirror, along with tile and the crushed pieces from a lamp base.

A photo of the art and information on Alford appears in the book with artists from Swaziland, Australia and Canada.

While her health has improved from when she was first diagnosed, Alford must limit her activities. She's happy if she's able to work on her mosaics a few hours each week, she said.

Still, she finds the work - especially breaking the glass - very therapeutic. She plans to keep at it, and with the recent publication under her belt, she said her goal is to have an exhibit at a New York City art gallery.

"I hope my story will encourage people with disabilities to maybe find alternative ways to pursue their dreams," Alford said.


The above originally appeared here.



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