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Abigail Rea was diagnosed with arthritis when she was just 3-years-old. Looking at the active girl now, you would never know this 12-year-old has juvenile arthritis. Abby loves to jump on the trampoline, play soccer, swim, run and ride her bike. She even plays on a competitive soccer team. Abby also loves to read and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Abby is a very strong and determined girl and she won’t let anything hold her back from what she wants to do.
Born and raised in Southwest Kansas, Joseph Rincones began his ceramic studies at Garden City Community College where he received his Associates in Arts. In 2007 he pursued his Bachelor Degree at Wichita State University (WSU) and graduated with a BFA(ceramic emphasis). After graduating from WSU in 2010, Joseph became the Resident Artist at the historic Wichita Center for the Arts. Joseph has stayed busy within the Wichita art community, teaching pottery classes at the Derby Rec Center, as well as City Arts. He continues to stay active in the arts community by participating in festivals and shows and any other opportunities that arise for community support.
Angelina Smith was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) two years ago at the age of 12. Angelina doesn’t let JA hold her back. She still loves riding her bike and scooter. She also loves to learn and read books. Angelina has been on the honor roll every year of middle school and is even taking high school level algebra. Angelina has a silly side and enjoys funny movies and jokes. When she grows up she wants to be a lawyer, judge or journalist, she hasn’t yet decided.
Darrin Hackney got his start in photography ten years ago. At the time, he just wanted better pictures of his dogs. Darrin started shooting weddings and portraits and was eventually earning enough to leave his salaried position as a general manager of a very popular sports bar. Now, he continues to pursue his passion for photography.
Calista Tull has lived with juvenile arthritis for most of her life. She was diagnosed at the age of four when she had trouble walking. Now, at 17-years-old, Calista is a normal teenager. Calista enjoys creating art in her free time and has loved the experience of participating in Art for Arthritis. Calista is very artistic and also enjoys painting and photography. When she isn’t creating art, you can find her on the track field or tennis court. Or possibly laughing at dumb jokes or memes! Calista wants to have a career in art and it’s her dream to be an underwater photographer.
Libby Bryant was first introduced into the world of photography when she was only six years-old. She had an older cousin that was an extreme hobbyist photographer who shared her passion of the art with Libby over the years. Libby’s first public showcase was at Botanical Gardens in Wichita Kansas four years ago. After her showcase, she joined the art family at Tessera’s Fine Art Gallery. When she is not doing photography, she is a wife, mom and Special Education Para for the Haysville School District. She has been married to her husband Kendall for 21 years and they have two amazing sons, Dalton and Reese.
Cameron Woolsey was just 12-years-old two years ago when he started experiencing health issues and rashes. He was eventually diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (PSA) and has lived with it for two years. Cameron continues to be active and doesn’t let PSA stand in his way of being a normal teenager. He plays basketball during the school year and baseball over the summer but his favorite sport is baseball. Cameron also enjoys spending time with his family and friends. When he grows up, Cameron wants to be an engineer because it seems like a logical career.
Gary Pendergrass is a native of Wichita. He trained in theology and worked for 15 years in religious education in Houston, Tulsa, San Francisco and St. Louis. A lull in employment brought Gary back to Wichita, where he spent 30 years as a home remodeler. Gary retired in 2011 with tools and a shop, and began experimenting in steampunk art. He now displays his work at Tessera Fine Art Gallery in downtown Wichita and at an open outdoor “village” in Wichita. Gary has been married for 46 years and has two children and one grandchild.
Emma Smith was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis (JA) with psoriatic arthritis subtype at 8-years-old. She was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism around the same time. Emma is a member of the choir, honor choir, Wilbur rock band, church youth worship team and was among the top five in her age group in Kansas Kids Got Talent at the 2015 Kansas State Fair. Emma keeps busy participating in cross country, volleyball, basketball and track at school. She loves creating art, photography, taking care of her pets and spending time with friends and family.
Mark D. Pendergrass
Mark D. Pendergrass has been a professional artist for over forty years. As a freelance artist, Mark specializes in computer art, character design, book illustration, sculpture, and is best known around Wichita for his many creative MURALS, both for businesses and residential. Among other talents, Mark is a published novelist, as well as an accomplished song writer/singer/musician, and has won many nationally recognized music awards. Mark is 66, married, and has three children.
Marina Gomez is a beautiful, compassionate and caring soul. She was diagnosed with arthritis four years ago at the age of 14. Even with her diagnosis, Marina looks back on that year with accomplishment. That was the same year she became a national champion in gymnastics. Now the two time national champion coaches gymnastics. Marina would do anything to help others and is very service oriented. That’s why she hopes to become a nurse so she can help people who are sick. Marina keeps busy working two jobs, volunteering at Camp Joint Adventures and writing songs while playing her guitar. She won’t let JA stop her from living her life to the fullest.
Scott Garrelts has been working with glass since 2006. He enjoys making many different forms from glass, including bowls, vases, and other vessels as well as imaginative and some more realistic sculptures. Scott makes all his clear glass from scratch and tries to use intense amounts his own colors, He is able to come up with some colors that may not be available to the rest of the glass world. When Scott is shaping the glass, it is intense work. Everything has to happen at just the right time, sometimes like a well choreographedwell-choreographed dance. Once he starts a piece at 2000 degrees, it has to stay above 1000 degrees the entire time working with it or It will crack. It can be a fine line to walk. Too much heat or too little at the wrong time can mean failure. Scott hopes to simply bring pleasure and enhance one’s surroundings through his glass pieces, though many pieces are functional as well.
Melissa Boland is a vibrant 9-year-old who enjoys dancing, art and swimming. Her favorite toy is her stuffed bear that holds a heating pack. Why is this the favorite toy of a 9-year-old? Melissa was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis four years ago and the bear helps soothe her aching joints. Melissa does get frustrated when she is not able to participate at the same activity level of her peers but she remains positive and strong-willed. When Melissa grows up she wants to be a doctor, like her “favorite doctor in the world,” Dr. Ibarra, her Pediatric Rheumatologist at Children’s Mercy.
Kayann Ausherman, the creative voice behind fromvictoryroad, lives on Victory Road in rural central Kansas in a large 100 year old farmhouse that is constantly being renovated. But, more than a physical place, Victory Road is about a creative journey through faith and life. Kayann rejoices in exploring creative expression through a variety of art forms and strives to make art readily available in both practical and purely aesthetic ways. Kayann frequently writes how-to articles for various mixed media art magazines such as Somerset Studio. She has illustrated children’s books and is a permanent artist at Tessera Fine Art Gallery in Wichita. Besides spending time making art in her studio, she loves teaching workshops and sharing her passion for mixed media art.
Riley Lipscomb is a fun loving, intelligent and active 9-year-old. She has also lived her entire life with juvenile arthritis (JA). Riley was diagnosed with JA a week before she turned one. Sometimes, when Riley is having a flare, she does get upset about her disease. She always powers through and continues to do the things she loves. Riley loves to create art projects and draw. She is very excited to be creating art with a professional artist. Riley also enjoys reading and playing tennis. When she grows up, she wants to be a tennis pro.
Lisa Graham worked as a registered nurse for 20 years before discovering a love of painting. She began an art blog in 2011 which eventually led to selling her work to private collectors nationally and internationally. She is represented by Tessera Fine Art Gallery.
At the age of 7, Tristan Coffey is a typical young boy who enjoys playing video games, playing outside and watching sports on TV. What is not typical is his battle with juvenile dermatomyositis. Three years ago, Tristan became very weak and stopped walking and eating. Shortly after his symptoms came on, he was diagnosed with juvenile dermatomyositis. Now, Tristan is headed toward remission and is a happy kid, amusing his family with practical jokes. He describes himself as, “really funny, have freckles and am super sweet.” When he grows up, Tristan wants to be a storm chaser so he can help people.
Dylan Seeney is a 24 year-old Kansas native. He graduated from Friends University in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He is currently teaching drawing, painting, and computer graphics at Wellington High School.
Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes. Leading the fight for the
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