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Philly artist with genetic disability inspires patients at Bryn Mawr Rehab

<i>WPVI</i><br/>Kelly McQuain is being featured at Bryn Mawr Rehab for his career painting with Hereditary Neuropathy with Pressure Palsies.
Kelly McQuain is being featured at Bryn Mawr Rehab for his career painting with Hereditary Neuropathy with Pressure Palsies.

By Nick Iadonisi

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    BRYN MAWR, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — At Bryn Mawr Rehab’s Art Ability Exhibit, beautiful creations are on display for their patients; and, on sale from artists with disabilities.

“I believe that art is the breath of the soul, and we use art to commemorate the important things in life,” said Kelly McQuain.

Running for 28 years, this year a local inspiration is being featured: Philadelphia artist Kelly McQuain.

“The paintings respond to my experience growing up as a gay man in the eighties when it was a very difficult time to do that,” said Mcquain

McQuain is a member of LGBTQ+ who teaches at Community College of Philadelphia.

His paintings decorate the walls of Bryn Mawr Rehab in the Art Ability Exhibit.

The exhibit highlights creators with disabilities who have persevered to create.

This includes McQuain who has had a successful career painting with Hereditary Neuropathy with Pressure Palsies.

“Creates a lot of numbness, discomfort and pain in my hands,” said McQuain.

The pain is lessened in McQuain’s hands when painting, adding another source of respite in the act of creating art.

Patients at Bryn Mawr Rehab not only get to see these works on the walls, but the therapists use the work in their methods of recovery.

“Physical therapists may use it if they’re working on a patient’s balance, they want them to walk down the hallway but also notice what’s in their peripheral vision,” said Art Ability Program Coordinator Erin Panner.

Using painting as therapy for both his physical and emotional needs, McQuain’s work can inspire patients in rehabilitation; and, anyone dealing with hardships in their life to put passion over pain.

The Art Ability exhibition takes place until January 28th, 2024 with portions of sales going to the artists and the rehabilitation mission at Bryn Mawr rehab.

For more information, check out McQuain’s website, and also Bryn Mawr Rehab’s Art Ability Exhibit.

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