Strength in proving people wrong

Published 11:12 am Monday, February 14, 2022

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We’ve seen it a lot lately. People, especially young people, stepping up in the face of adversity and proving to people that they can accomplish goals many doubt they’ll reach.

It was shown when Peyton Grillo, who is on the autism spectrum, started a basketball game and hit a 3-pointer for the Thompson Warriors.

It was shown again when Braxton Weidman, a student at Greystone Elementary, survived one of the deadliest brain cancers for 17 months, making a difference and leaving a lasting impact that will surpass his passing on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

And most recently, the Shelby County Arts Council has taken a step in showing the possibilities of those with visual impairments, blindness and deafness.

The Helen Keller Art Show, which is an annual traveling juried art show, recently debuted the 2022 show at the SCAC on Sunday, Jan. 23, and will remain open to the public until Thursday, Feb. 24.

The show takes submissions only from students who have visual impairments, blindness or deaf blindness from schools across Alabama.

And students, who many write off, not only bring their best work to the table, they create artwork that many of us who can see and hear wouldn’t be able to even come close to perfecting.

Imagine not being able to see, and trying to paint or draw a flawless piece of art.

Many of us can barely draw stick figures.

These students, however, persevered. They didn’t let their visual or hearing impairment define them, they instead let it fuel them to be a creative inspiration to others.

This year’s show features 46 pieces of art, each one unique to that individual artist and each one complimenting the other as a reminder to each of us.

It is so easy to give up, to find ourselves overwhelmed and like we can’t accomplish a goal we set.

That, however, is the furthest thing from the truth.

As we’ve seen from Grillo, Weidman and the Helen Keller Art Show students, it just takes belief and focus to conquer what many deem impossible.

Some of the students will never even see what they created, but that doesn’t make them any less proud, because the accomplishment and inspiration far outweighs the visual impairment.