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Artist’s show to help battle disease

By Staff | May 29, 2015

Local artist and resident Julia Springer has launched a personal effort to help win a medical victory against the degenerative disease, Parkinson’s.

With artwork in exhibit at the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church, Springer discussed art and advocacy at the opening of the show last weekend.

“We’ve had family members with Parkinson’s disease,” she said.

“It”s very important to me,”

Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the central nervous system resulting in brain degeneration, has become more visible in recent decades due to actor Michael J. Fox’s diagnosis at age 29.

Since the year 2000 Fox has the campaigned for Parkinsons disease research after temporarily retiring from acting to start the Fox Foundation.

It affects not only the person diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but the entire family, Springer said Sunday.

“Obviously with time they need more and more support,” she said.

“It’s a huge problem.”

According to the foundation’s website: www.michaeljfox.org/, Parkinson’s affects one in 100 people over the age of 60.

“There’s 60,000 people who with be diagnosed this year,” Springer said.

To date, no cure is available for Parkinson’s disease, making it an especially dire diagnosis.

Though Springer said the Fox Foundation’s work provides some hope.

In that last year, Springer said the foundation has begun facilitating cooperation between pharmaceutical research teams from competitive companies.

“That’s almost unheard of,” she said.

Springer has been producing her “covergent” artwork for sale for the past three years.

Springer describes her work as a form of digital media.

“It starts with a digital photograph and it ends up looking like a painting.”

Springer took up film photography as a hobby many years ago before being introduced to the digital tools that have transformed her landscape and portrait photos.

“It gives me more artistic freedom to actually make it look the way I imagine the scene,” she said. Springer who works as a veterinary pathologist researcher said, art gives her a license for expression.

“I’ve been looking down a microscope of detail for 30 years. It’s like a sort complete release to be able to not focus on the detail but to focus on the overall picture,” she said.

Throughout the extent of her exhibit, 33 percent of all proceeds made will go to the The Michael J Fox Foundation.

Generally, Springer donates 25 percent of all proceeds to the research organization and will continue to do so following the completion of the show.

“89 cents on every dollar actually goes directly to researchers,” she said.

Springer’s work is available on various mediums like canvas, greeting cards, phone cases, and more.

Find more about her work at: juliaspringer.com/.

Her first solo show will be on display in the Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall until June 7.