Neurofibromatosis: The People, an Exhibit by Rachel Mindrup
Author: NF Central Plains, NF Network
Published On: 12/12/2019
On November 15, 2019, families and individuals gathered at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, Missouri to view the opening of a new exhibit – Neurofibromatosis: The People. Lining the walls of the gallery were oil paintings of adults with NF doing some of their favorite activities, such as baking, golfing, reading and playing. Each painting showcased the lives that these individuals with NF have created beyond the disorder that has linked them.
The artist, Rachel Mindrup, is not only an accomplished painter and an assistant professor at Creighton University, but also a mother to a son with NF1. In her artist’s statement, Rachel writes, “My son Henry's diagnosis has been the motivation behind my series of portraits… Through this series of paintings, I am the conduit, transforming genetic complications into something secondary and portraying the individual personalities first.”
Rachel has connected deeply with the NF community through her Many Faces of NF paintings and exhibits like Neurofibromatosis: The People. Through her art and the biographies of those she paints, Rachel has not only been able to raise awareness and educate the public about NF, but has also helped bring the NF community together on a local level. Following the opening of the exhibit, NF Central Plains hosted a casual dining get-together to share stories and laughter, and connect on an intimate level with those who understand them most.
In addition to the personal connections she has made in the NF community, Rachel is also an NF advocate on the national level, representing the state of Nebraska in Washington D.C. to advocate for federal funding for NF research.
Through all of her hard work, Rachel has one goal: “I hope to raise funds, educate, and ideally find a cure for NF.” It is through the continued work of people like Rachel and of those she paints that we bring neurofibromatosis into the light, and take another step closer to finding better treatments and a cure to end neurofibromatosis.
Neurofibromatosis: The People is open now through January 5, 2020 at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, MO. Learn more about the exhibit here.