In Focus: Painter Puts Artistry Over Adversity
Ever since birth Grand Rapids artist Jack Sholund has had an extremely rare, progressive muscle disease. Today, at age 57, he is mostly wheelchair-bound, but he puts his artistry over adversity. Sholund suffers from fibrodysplaisa ossificans progressiva, a genetic condition that limits mobility in most of his joints. “Basically what happens is connective tissues and muscles actually calcify or change to bone,” said Sholund.
Sholund hasn’t let his disease stop him, he has little motion but has found a way to paint standing up. He uses watercolors to create pictures with unbelievable detail, and he may have limits in motion, but not his determination to create art. Despite his limitations, he is an award-winning artist who finds inspiration in nature and loves to paint different kinds of animals.
Sholund’s condition is progressive, and one day his left hand may lose mobility too, but he refuses to let fear stop him. He now makes greeting cards and keeps living his life, sharing his art, and counting his blessings.