Nationally acclaimed blind artist to present painting demonstration at FHSU's Memorial Union

Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History will present a program by Lisa Fittipaldi at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in the Black and Gold Room of the Memorial Union on campus. The program is open and free to the public.

Fittipaldi is the artist featured in the museum's "Blind Ambition" exhibit. In 1993, Fittipaldi suddenly lost her sight to a rare disease. Overcome with depression, she spent two years relearning the most basic activities of life. Her husband, having heard that art was good therapy for depression, bought her a child's watercolor set in 1995.

Fittipaldi, who did not even draw before becoming blind, rose to the challenge. Her surprising response revealed an undiscovered talent. She now paints professionally and both she and her art works receive international acclaim.

"Everyone who sees the paintings at the Sternberg is just amazed," said Dr. Jerry Choate, museum director. "You would not think by looking that the artist is blind. Her work is a tribute to human achievement."

As part of the evening program, Fittipaldi will do a painting demonstration showing some of the techniques she has developed to master a highly visual medium.

"Blind Ambition" has been extended at the Sternberg Museum and will be on display until Dec. 29.

"Blind Ambition" complements another exhibit on display at the museum, "In the Dark: Worlds Without Light," which has been extended until Nov. 10.

Bringing Fittipaldi to Hays and the FHSU campus was made possible in part by the Kansas Arts Commission (a state agency) and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency).

The Sternberg Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays. More information can be obtained from the museum's Web page at or by calling toll free 1-877-332-1165.

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