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MEDIA RELEASE 09 May 2017

Christchurch mouth painting artists to exhibit and demonstrate their amazing skills at Westfield Riccarton
Christchurch mouth painting artists Grant Philip and Patrick Edmonds will exhibit a selection of their paintings and demonstrate their amazing skill at Westfield Riccarton Mall on Sunday 14th May from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

Grant is well-known in the Christchurch area for his painting. He is 46 years old and has been confined to a wheelchair for over 28 years. In the summer of 1989, he was an apprentice Sheet Metal Engineer as well as a Territorial Soldier with the Royal New Zealand Corps of Engineers, 1st Field Squadron when he had a diving accident that left him a tetraplegic.

After his accident, he retrained as a Computer Aided Designer and held fulltime employment for eight years designing playgrounds for McDonald's Restaurants.

Over 14 years ago a new challenge was presented to Grant in the way of a scholarship with the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. His goal with painting is to become a full member with MFPA and no longer be dependent on compensation.

He enjoys painting landscape scenes of the beautiful country here in New Zealand.

As well as his art, Grant has represented New Zealand at numerous World Cups and World Championships in the Paralympic Sport of Target Shooting.

Patrick is also well-known for his painting. He was a soldier in the New Zealand Army in 1985 when he suffered a broken neck in a diving accident in Taupo rendering him a quadriplegic. He continued serving as a soldier and became a teacher in computer skills.

He moved to Christchurch in 2010 and works voluntarily for the NZ Spinal Trust as a Peer Support Worker and has played Powerchair Soccer for Canterbury and a past President of New Zealand Powerchair Football.

Members of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists gain their income through the sale of products illustrated with their paintings and although this started with Christmas cards, today it includes a wide list of products ranging from special occasion cards, jigsaws, tea sets, address books, calendars, Christmas serviettes and place mats, gift tags and wrapping paper.

Founded in 1956 by a group of European artists, the MFPA is a self-help organisation which gives people with disabilities the opportunity to fulfil their creative ambitions while still maintaining financial independence by selectively selling their artworks.

The MFPA was established in New Zealand in 1961 and currently has 21 members around the country.

To become a student member an artist must qualify by painting using a brush held in either their mouth or foot, having lost the use of their hands through an illness or accident. Student members receive scholarships for art supplies and tuition. Once an artist becomes a full member or associate they are guaranteed a salary for life, even if they are unable to continue painting.

Released for MFPA by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (www.drpr.com.au)

For further information please call Dennis Rutzou on +61 411 510 888.

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09 May: Christchurch mouth painting artists to exhibit and demonstrate their amazing skills at Westfield Riccarton
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