Local educators, artists and community members band together to celebrate the spirit of progress during, "Shining a Light in Pine," an art show dedicated to those overcoming the challenges of dyslexia and other learning disabilities.
Dyslexic artist Myra Kraemer, owner of Myra's Gallery in Pine, spearheaded the event.
"There is a stigma because people think if you can't read and write you're illiterate. And if you're illiterate, you're stupid," Kraemer said. "And the shame. You can't even imagine the shame that goes along with it."
Many dyslexics and people who struggle with learning disabilities find solace and expression through the arts.
Bernadette Heath, a local artist and exhibitor, is one of the few female photographers at Arizona Highways magazine.
Throughout her primary school and college years, Heath lived in a chronic state of anxiety and fear -- she couldn't read.
"Every day I was stressed out; my fingernails were chewed down to nothing," Heath said. "Nobody knew I couldn't read because I hid behind books. In 12th grade I was supposed to read a poem and I couldn't read it. The teacher slammed a book on the desk, and said, ‘You can't read, how did you make it to 12th grade?'"
The art exhibit kicks off May 11 and runs through May 21 at Myra's Gallery, 3824 Highway 87 in Pine.
Two days of workshops for adults and children, speakers, camaraderie, food and fun begins at 5:45 p.m., Friday, May 12 at in the Pine Community Center, followed by an artist reception from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, May 13 at Myra's Gallery.
For more information or a full schedule of events, contact Myra Kraemer at (928) 476-2256 or visit the Payson Roundup's Web site: www.payson.com.
Participating artists include
Neil Relster Barton
The Dyslexic Foundation
Arizona Literacy and Learning Center
The Payson Art League
Payson and Pine school districts