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“Up Up and Away” by Christina Fairman: monoprint on mulberry paper with watercolor highlights depicts a woman seated in a wheelchair, with one arm raised overhead and the other arm rounded in front of her, dancing. Colors are blues and violets, with some orange, red, green, yellow and black flecks throughout.

“Up Up and Away”

Artist: Christina Fairman, Springfield

Description: 8” x 11” monoprint on mulberry paper with watercolor highlights. The inspiration for this print comes from the accomplishments of Chelsie Hill, a 25-year-old dancer with a spinal injury who teaches and performs in California.

Artist Statement: Ms. Hill and other “wheelchair dancers” release us from the idea that dance is limited to those with functioning legs. Watch a performance by these artists, and the wheelchairs actually seem to fade into the background. We no longer see their chairs, but instead enjoy their athleticism, passion and grace.

About the Artist: Originally from Lexington, KY, I have lived in Springfield, MA, for the past 18 years. I graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, IN, in 1990, with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in French. Upon graduation, I worked for a number years at a nonprofit organization in Lexington that supported business and cultural ties between Japan and the local community. I left that job in the mid-90s to complete a Master’s Degree in Art History at the University of Kentucky. Since earning my degree in 2002, my work experience has been in education and learning. I have worked in public schools both in Springfield and in Pelham, MA, where for two years I was a paraprofessional working with a student with Asperger’s Syndrome. I then worked as a Public Library Young Adult and Children’s Librarian for nine years, during which time I developed literacy programs for toddlers. I am currently an adjunct professor of Art at Western New England University, where I have taught since 2012.

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