Monday, July 21, 2008

Frank Calloway Keeps On Keepin On

Happy Birthday, Frank Calloway, belated though it is. Frank's birthday was July 2 and he turned a spritely 112, though I never would have known it until reading this AP Feature written by Kate Brumback. This was no how-did-you-live-so-long article, but rather a refreshing tale of surviving schizophrenia.

Born July 2, 1896, in Alabama, Frank entered the mental health system in 1952, diagnosed with schizophrenia. He has lived in that system ever since. Today, he is showing signs of dementia and is spending his days in a nursing home.

All of that aside, Frank is known for his artwork. He creates vivd murals that recall his Alabama youth, glimpses into a world gone by.

As he recounts in the story, Frank was taught early on about drawing and he's been an avid artist ever since. According to staff at the nursing home, Frank is quite happy to just spend his time quietly absorbed in his artwork.

Frank Calloway

This October, the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD, will feature 18 of Frank's murals in an exhibit titled, "The Mariage of Art, Science and Philosophy."

Frank had been giving away his artwork or selling it at times for $50. But the nursing home staff has put a stop to that after an appraiser told them Frank's work could be worth thousands. The money will go into a trust so Frank doesn't lose his Medicaid benefits.

Keep on keepin' on, Frank!
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