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This was written by my co author.
My name is Anne Copeland, and my co-author, Barbara Williamson and I are physically challenged fiber artists (otherwise called art quilters). We are just opening our fundraising site, www.Kickstarter.com, and want to let others know so that you can read more about our book and perhaps help support its publishing.
Back in 2005, I met Barbara online as she was trying to get some sort of career with her fiber arts going and she kept hitting dead ends. She and I talked, and out of our many talks over time, we decided to start a small nonprofit (c)(3) to assist other physically challenged fiber artists in getting exposure for their work and also helping to teach them professional develop. We started with virtually no money. In fact, I was unemployed at the time, and we were both seniors. But as we talked, we realized how huge the need was for what we decided to do. I never realized how many physically challenged fiber artists there were out there until I did an online survey. I expected maybe 12 – 15 responses, but I was overwhelmed by how many people wrote to me. Many of them had the “invisible challenges” such as chronic depression, fibromyalgia (which was not acknowledged at the time) and other internal challenges. I would always answer back to their questions about whether whatever they had was a physical challenge or not, “Well, it sure isn’t an out-of-body experience, is it?” I have a lot of personal experience with this aspect as not all of my physical challenges, such as PTSD, are visible. But they sure are real, and they do affect us physically and our brains are part of our bodies. The first year I curated our premier challenge for exhibits, we had some 121 entries from different parts of the world. The theme, “My World in Black and White” had 10 live venues in California and other parts of the United States. We were off and running, and soon our nonprofit was serving a lot of other physically challenged fiber artists. Everything was done online and on the phone, and these artists became our loyal friends. They were succeeding as artists and they were mostly excited about finally being validated for their challenges and for being recognized as vibrant and inspirational human beings.
Out of these long friendships over the many years, Barbara and I came up with the idea for the book. We would feature a number of the fiber artists who represented a wide variety of physical challenges and types of art, and present their stories and art in the book. So we set out and wrote it and Barb put together the list of resources at the end which I think will be helpful for most physically challenged artists working in any medium. We hope that you will let others know about our book, and perhaps support it and read it when it is published. We have worked for three long years on this book, and one of our fiber artists featured in the book has since passed on from MS. The book is full of beautiful art, and it will be an inspiration not only for those who are physically challenged, but hopefully to help others who have never been physically challenged to understand that being physically challenged is not an end; it is a beginning. Thank you very kindly and we look forward to the book coming out in early 2016 if not sooner.
Anne Copeland and Barbara Williamson Co-authors of Artful Alchemy: Physically Challenged Fiber Artists Creating firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Here is the link to Kickstarter. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Here's the project URL: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/533790916/artful-alchemy-physically-challenged-fiber-artists