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Donna Lutz VanderPlas's avatar Donna Lutz VanderPlas

My 2017 Artprize entry titled "Brave" portrays a young girl who was diagnosed with a rare disease called Desmoplastic Fibromatosis. She is a strong child who underwent a radical jaw surgery at Mott Childrens Hospital in Ann Arbor and she will continue to have annual scans to check for tumor recurrence. Rare diseases have posed unique challenges to researchers due to small patient populations. Science is a vital element of this research. The Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation along with the National Organization for Rare Disorders gives patients and families hope for further progress in treatments and a future cure. I chose to portray this brave child in black and white with colorful clothing. Color is surrounding her in the background. The butterflies are an uplifting symbol of courage and protection as they protect her and offer positive energy and hope. This is a watercolor painting with no graphite work in the piece. A love of people and a deep interest in the human experience is key to my work.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 2 inches
  • Medium: Watercolor
  • Width: 26 inches
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: 34 inches