‘Mouth Painting’ for UCI
Forty-five-year-old Suzanne Short, or ‘Shorty,’ is a quadriplegic ‘mouth painter’ who recently made a portrait of neurobiologist Hans Keirstead, associate professor of UC Irvine’s Reeve-Irvine Spinal Cord Injury Research Center.
Short’s portrait of Keirstead emulated a photo of him that was published by the OC Register last year, when an article was written about Keirstead’s efforts to use human embryonic stem cells to treat those with spinal cord injuries.
In an interview with the OC Register, Short said that she admired the photo of Keirstead that the newspaper published last year because ‘he looks so hopeful in it.’
In 1982, while she was a junior studying architectural technology at Indiana University, Short was involved in a car accident caused by a drunk driver.
After her accident, Short, whose level of disability is C4 quadriplegia, was forever paralyzed from the shoulders down. She learned to write using her mouth and a felt tip pen at the Craig Rehabilitation Hospital and decided to ‘reinvent herself through art,’ according to her Web site which can be found at: http://www.erikasfriends.com.
Although she has minimal mobility of her shoulders and left hand