Artist with severe Cerebral Palsy shows off paintings for a good cause


Saturday was the opening day of a very special showcase at the Flourishes Gallery and Studio in Shelbyville. A woman with a severe illness is showing off her talents for a good cause.

People may have never met Heather Black, but now people have the chance to meet her through her artwork. Heather was born with Severe Congenital Cerebral Palsy. Now, at age 39, she can't walk or talk but she can paint.

"It just started with trying to include Heather in what the other kids were doing," said Heather's sister Monica Courtright.

Heather couldn't make it to the opening day of her showcase because of her condition.

"She's an inspiration," her sister said.

Her mom, Nola, helps Heather every step of the way, choosing colors based on Heather's body language and sounds. Then, putting the paint on the paper.

"She positions her the right way," Courtright explained.

Heather's hands are her paint brush.

"They both are extraordinary," her sister said. "There's not a lot of people who would do what my mom's done."

But now a lot of people can share their story.

"I went ahead and bought a nice painting today, put it on my wall, so that way it reminds me of Heather and Nola and all the great things that St. Louis does for the children there," said Heather's friend Tyler Yates.

All of the paintings are labeled with titles. For example, one is called "Disappearing Coral Reef." But none of the artwork has price tags. That's because people can pay whatever they think the artwork is worth. All of the money goes towards St. Louis Children's Hospital.

"I donated 50 dollars for it," Yates said.

But it's not about the money, it's about supporting a cause and Heather.

"She's really good at it so hopefully she keeps on working at it and gets more recognition for her work," Yates said.

The showcase runs until Thanksgiving. On the opening day, the family raised more than $500.

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