by Mindy Kyle
DESPITE A LIFE CHANGING TRAGEDY, THIS LOCAL ARTIST CONTINUED TO FOLLOW HER PASSION
Naperville artist, Mariam Paré, had a passion for painting and creating art since she was a little girl. Wanting to make art her career, she attended college for Fine Art, but her plans for her future took a tragic turn. In 1996, at the age of 20 years old, while in a car stopped at a stop sign, random gunfire broke out on the adjacent sidewalk and a single bullet passed through the door of the car and struck Mariam in the back of her neck paralyzing her instantly. The gunshot wound resulted in a spinal cord injury that would leave her permanently unable to walk and the inability to use her hands to paint.
Despite her injuries, she was still pulled to create art and slowly began teaching herself how to paint by holding the brushes in her mouth. “I felt all the knowledge was still inside of me, wanting to be expressed,” says Mariam. “It seemed like a miracle that I was still able to find a way to do what I loved most.”
In 2006, she became a member of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting and began licensing many of her paintings through them to be reproduced in the form of greeting cards, calendars and books. She also sells original paintings and other artistic works through galleries and exhibitions. “Through art, I have an immense freedom,” explains Mariam. Mariam works mainly from her home studio in Naperville producing exquisite artwork that has garnered substantial media attention locally and nationally.
(L) One Week Before the Injury Took Place In 1996 (R) In the Hospital with Her Parents
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