Insider March-April 2008

by Quest Staff on March 1, 2008 - 4:05pm

QUEST Vol. 15, No. 2

Selling prints for dog prints

Using Adobe Photoshop and various digital tricks, Clark Demland blended multiple clones of himself into this fun, fundraising photo.

Art always has been on Clark Demland’s mind, and so has having a service dog.

This year, Clark, 16, put his two passions together by selling prints of an award-winning digitally enhanced photo to pay for a service dog from Power Paws, a service dog organization located in Scottsdale, Ariz.

A sophomore at Camelback High School in Phoenix, Clark, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, created “The Clark 500” as an assignment for his freshman digital photography class, with assistance from his aide, Victor Felicioni. Using the software program Adobe Photoshop, he created a picture of himself in his power wheelchair racing numerous other Clarks in their wheelchairs in different lanes of the high school track.

“I wanted to be different, and I knew that no one else was using the track, and I like racing,” Clark said.

After winning first place for digital photography in Phoenix Union High School District’s Student Art Show and receiving offers to purchase his work, Clark decided to sell prints of “The Clark 500” to his teachers and members of the community for $20 each, to raise funds for a $5,000 Power Paws service dog.

At about this time, Clark’s high school also held a fundraiser for his service dog, ultimately bringing in $1,300. In just four months, Clark’s print raised the remaining $3,700.

While the cost of the service dog is covered, Clark still is waiting to be matched with a dog. Power Paws said it could take anywhere from six months to two years.

“I’m looking forward to getting a dog,” the artist says. “I hope it will be soon.”

Cows, Horses and Dance: This lady wastes no time

In teaching dance, Jackie Heinz often taps with her hands.

In 2006, this industrious 26-year-old was named Ms. Wheelchair Iowa. She also received MDA’s 2006 Personal Achievement Award for northern Iowa, and currently is the PAA recipient for the entire state.

Jackie, who has spinal muscular atrophy, holds a bachelor’s degree in health promotions and dance — the first person with a disability to complete the dance program at the University of Northern Iowa. She teaches dance at the Kinetic Energy School of Movement in Cedar Falls, and also handles administrative/managerial duties of all types for the school.

Heinz occasionally works with professional troupes to create new forms of dance.

How does a person in a wheelchair teach dance? “I use a lot of verbal cues and description,” she said. (She also sometimes accompanies her instruction by “tap dancing” with taps in both hands.) “Very occasionally I’ll use an assistant to demonstrate. I like to think that the way I teach allows the students to be even more creative and develop their own dancing style rather than trying to be like me.”

Jackie and her husband also own acreage on which they have 30 brown Swiss cows and six horses. “The horses are my life,” she said. “My main goal when it comes to horses is to start my own training and breeding facility.

“I’m not one for following the normal path set out for me. I’d find most satisfaction in proving to the world that a small Iowa girl can train, judge and breed horses at a professional level — no strings (or assistants).”

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