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Dossett selling paintings to benefit Relay for Life

Posted: Tuesday, Apr 9th, 2013

MENDOTA – Acclaimed artist John Tyler Dossett reached a milestone in his professional career yesterday. He named and numbered his 450th painting. A prolific career, indeed, considering he only began painting less than six years ago. And miraculous, considering Dossett is a quadriplegic, using a wheelchair since birth.

On Sunday, April 21 from 3 to 6 p.m., Dossett, a part-time Mendota resident, will exhibit over 100 original paintings at an art show and sale at Senica’s Oak Ridge in LaSalle. His art is representational as well as abstract interpretations of the world’s beauty in rich, saturated colors. The acrylic paintings defy explanation and absolutely inspire.

For Dossett, creating art is about ignoring life’s limitations and breaking down barriers. But he paints for more than just the thrill of the challenge. Every cent of profits from his art sales is given to charity. Dossett is an avid Superman fan, so the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation was his initial beneficiary from early art sales. He donates originals and limited-edition prints to many worthy causes and fundraisers as well. For his upcoming show and sale, the profits will go entirely to Relay for Life-Upper Illinois Valley.

Relay Team Angels Among Us is presenting the upcoming show and sale of Dossett’s art. Along with vivid original paintings, there will be hundreds of limited-edition prints, art jewelry and ornaments, and art books available for purchase. Dossett also has a new line of art calendars and candles, which will be sold to benefit Relay for Life. Last year, Holland’s painting “More Birthdays” was chosen as the official image of Relay for Life-Upper Illinois Valley. A feature article about Dossett’s art philanthropy was featured in the American Cancer Society’s “More Birthdays” blog last July.

Angels Among Us team captain, Nancy Jackson, said, “John’s ‘More Birthdays’ painting is more than just a colorful arrangement of birthday candles on a canvas. It also looks like people walking together against a vivid backdrop of a spirit of unity for a common purpose. That’s what Relay for Life is all about. John captures the Relay spirit beautifully.”

Dossett was born in 1974 with a genetic condition known as Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, similar to cerebral palsy with a host of other symptoms. He has limited voluntary control of his muscles, and he cannot feed, dress or groom himself.

But Dossett and his family prefer to talk about the things John can do. John can paint, using his tools of the trade: his powerful left hand, a squeegee, and palette knives. He is fiercely independent and refuses to allow his personal aides to help him paint. He prepares his canvases with gesso for texture, chooses colors, and squeezes on paint. The results of what Dossett terms his “mojo sessions” - painting times that are fueled by intensity, adrenaline and a pure spirit of joy - are incredible.

Dossett splits his time between his hometown of Bethalto, Ill. and Mendota, where his sister and brother-in-law, Aimee and Troy Holland live.

Dossett’s outlook on life has changed dramatically since he started painting. “John says he has found his higher calling, his purpose,” says his sister, Aimee. “The fact that his art is not only visually stunning but also created to help those in need makes it a win-win situation. That’s the feeling that keeps him going.”

Dossett’s art can be viewed on his website at www.jtdossettart.com and on Facebook through the JT Dossett Art group.

For more information about the Relay for Life art show and sale featuring Dossett’s work, contact Aimee Holland at (815) 539-3702 or adholland@mtco.com.

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