Joanne O'Connell (born 1968)
Joanne O'Connell lives in the Boston area and has been attending Gateway Arts since 1992. At the age of eleven she had an accident in which she nearly drowned, and she was in a coma for four months. Subsequently, O'Connell spent more than a year in the hospital. Although left with a number of disabilities, her sense of humor and positive outlook helped her through a difficult rehabilition. O'Connell attended Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts and graduated from Hyde Park High School in Boston. Whe she came to Gateway Arts, O'Connell began to fulfill her childhood dream of being an artist. Drawing from her imagination, she creates intricate and colorful images that often combine patterns, figures, and words that densely fill the surface. Discoveries can be made with each new encounter with her work. O'Connell won awards from MENCAP in England and from the Ebensburg Center in Pennsylvania in 1994 and 1995. She has been represented at the Outsider Art Fair in New York, and in 1996 her work was featured in "From the Outside In" at the Fuller Art Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts.