The art installations of Angelina Mazzanti reflect different aspects of her dyslexia, and express to the viewer how she perceives things when she reads and writes. It's currently on display through June 13 in the Charleston Arts Center.
A long-time Learning Ally member, Angelina received her BFA in Art from the University of Mississippi in 2013. She has exhibited widely in the region, was a guest speaker at the Connections Conference for Dyslexia in Jonesboro, Arkansas; and also spoke at the Arkansas State Capitol in a celebration ceremony for the passing of bill SB33 in LittleRock.
A while back, this remarkable young artist sent us an original essay:
The Story of Double D
I’m Double D, but it’s not what you might think. The D’s stand for dyslexic and diabetic. My mom came up with it to lighten the mood at the hospital in 2006.
I've been creating art for as long as I can remember. You could say my mom was my first art teacher and the motivating force behind the artist I have become. She was very crafty always encouraging me to try my very best.
When I was six years old, I was diagnosed with my first “D” dyslexia. Every day and every subject in school has been a constant struggle for me. Art helps me release myself. It was never a struggle, but rather a challenge, which allowed me to explore and understand my disability and made living with it more bearable.
During high school, I was diagnosed with my second “D” diabetic. After I was released from the hospital with type 1 diabetes, my vision remained blurry for several weeks. My other senses heightened. My outlook on life and world around me changed. I saw my art through a new light. Photography became my new passion.
I’ve had many art teachers, but my high school at teacher at was my favorite. She encouraged me to pursue my aspirations as an artist and gave an excellent basis art studio foundation. Her constructive criticism during high school has helped me prepare for college, since we have critiques in the BFA program.
College has probably played the most important part in me being an artist. I loved capturing photos in black and white using Photoshop and aperture to edit my photos. Then, I discovered the world of sculpture. It was a way to create, shape, and visually expresses what it feels like to be dyslexic in three-dimensional objects. Once again, art as a main subject gave me a lot relief from the other subjects that dealt with pure memorization and arithmetic.
Yes, it’s unfortunate to have two major disabilities. My life is not without hardship and struggle. It’s my job to use my disabilities and what it brings to my life in a positive way. My diabetes has taught me to be more responsible, while my dyslexia helps me to see pictures and not words. My art reflects my imagination, the effort I put into a piece and the potential in creating beautiful pieces.
So, now I can add a new “D” to my nick name. It stands for determined
. I am determined to succeed in life! With success, creates more motivation. My artist journey has just begun!
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Visit Angelina Mazzanti's Facebook page - All Jumbled Up.