MEDIA RELEASE 12 February 2009
Franklin mouth painting artist to display artwork in exhibition
Franklin resident and Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) member Grant
Sharman will be entering his artwork entitled 'Mosquito Fighter Bomber' in the
annual Bruce Hopkins Memorial Art Awards.
The painting depicts a famous fighter bomber flown by New Zealanders in World
War II, "I like to paint realistic artworks with challenging subject matter such
as cars and planes. That's why I particularly enjoyed working on this painting
for the awards," said Grant.
Grant Sharman started mouth-painting after an injury in a school rugby match
left him a tetraplegic in 1977. He has been a full member of the association
since 1988 and is one of the most active MFPA members in New Zealand,
coordinating a number of events and exhibitions for fellow MFPA artists.
"It was Bruce Hopkins who originally introduced me to mouth-painting in 1980.
I've entered the Bruce Hopkins Memorial Art Award every year since 1999," Grant
The Bruce Hopkins Memorial Art Awards started 18 years ago to commemorate Bruce
Hopkins' contribution to the MFPA and to artists with disabilities throughout
New Zealand. During the 1970s and 80s, Bruce was the only New Zealand artist
with a disability to belong to the MFPA and was responsible for encouraging and
inspiring people with disabilities to start painting with a brush held in their
mouth or foot.
The awards will be judged and artworks displayed in the Auckland spinal unit as
part of The Association of Spinal Concerns (TASC) show off day on Saturday, 21
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 20 members.
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.
For further information on the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists contact MFPA on
(09) 827 6746.
Released for Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) by Dennis Rutzou Public
For further information please call Anthia Crosby or Nicola Rutzou on 61 2 9413