Cal State L.A. celebrates installation of celebrated artist Rick Hohn’s art piece, ‘Victorious Struggle’
Cal State L.A. celebrated the installation of “Victorious Struggle” on Thursday, Dec. 12, a painting by renowned artist and writer Rick Hohn, which vividly showcases the everyday challenges of those with physical disabilities.
The piece, mounted at the entrance of the King Hall building on campus, is donated by Sherry Best, a professor of special education, physical and health impairments at CSULA, and her husband John Best.
“My husband, John, and I decided to donate this art because we wanted to give back to the university that provided much of our professional education,” said Professor Best. “It represents the struggle of CSULA students to achieve their professional goals, while focusing on using our assets and strengths to overcome our challenges.”
Professor Best earned three teaching credentials and her M.A. at CSULA, and John received his B.A. in sociology at CSULA. The couple resides in the city of La Verne.
The eight-foot mural painting with seven progressive scenes, from left to right, depicts the struggle that Hohn’s childhood friend went through in everyday life, such as getting off the floor.
According to Hohn, though his friend is severely paralyzed from polio, he could walk with braces and crutches by raising and swinging his legs in front of his crutches for each step.
“The painting demonstrates the fortitude in overcoming insurmountable odds in spite of my friend’s acute paralysis,” said Hohn.
Hohn, who was born with cerebral palsy, has limited use of his limbs. When he was 15 years old, his mother taped a paintbrush to his head pointer, which he also used to communicate. His first watercolor paintings were impressionistic landscapes. Today, he is an accomplished artist, minister, consultant and author of several books. For more about Hohn: http://blog.dynavoxtech.com/authors/rick-hohn/
Best first met Hohn at a professional conference in which he was representing Dynavox Technologies, a business that provides communication systems for persons who do not have functional speech.
“Rick has volunteered his expertise for more than 14 years as a presenter in one of my credential courses about augmentative and alternative communication,” Best explained. “He is an inspirational speaker and reminds listeners that they should never underestimate the capabilities of students with special needs.”
# # #
Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 230,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. www.calstatela.edu