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"Provincetown Abound." Painting by Liz Holly

Seeing the light

As an artist with MS, I’m determined to continue painting.

by Liz Holly

My art career started early; I began drawing when I was 3 and first enrolled in painting lessons at age 12. As I matured, I studied art seriously—and with very accomplished teachers. I obtained my master of fine arts degree at the Parsons School of Design in New York City, and soon after, I began exhibiting my work in galleries in New York.

I’ve always been mesmerized by the way changing light transforms everyday scenes. And my early Catholic education allowed me to observe such changes frequently in stained-glass windows, each creating a narrative. I think this was one of my biggest influences. Of course, so were my teachers, whose Native American, abstract and figurative aesthetics show in my work.

Even after I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1994, I was able to continue painting for many years. By 2006, however, I lost the use of both my legs. In 2012, I retired from my full-time job as coordinator of disability support services at a local college. Recently, the use of my left arm also became limited. Though I now stay in bed most of the time, I paint even more than before, thanks to help from my husband, Arthur, who moved my studio into my bedroom. My most recent exhibit was at Gallery 505 in Brooklyn, and I have every intention to continue painting and exhibiting, and seeing the light.

Liz Holly lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, Arthur Mortensen.
Fall 2016
See more of Liz Holly’s work.
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