Celebrating Creativity and Resilience: EveryLife Foundation’s Rare Artist Program
By: Stephanie Riordan, Director of Patient Programs, EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases
In the heart of every challenge lies a unique opportunity for expression and empowerment. At the EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases, we firmly believe in the transformative power of art, especially in the lives of those affected by rare diseases. This belief is the cornerstone of our Rare Artist Program, a platform that not only showcases the talents of individuals living with rare diseases but also amplifies their voices and stories.
This year, we are thrilled to announce the awardees of the 2023 Rare Artist Contest. Each artist, through their exceptional work and statements, has created a vivid narrative of resilience, hope, and the unyielding spirit of the rare disease community.
Developed in 2010, the Rare Artist Program showcases the extraordinary talents of those affected by rare diseases, enabling them to share their narratives through art. Celebrating its 13th year, the Rare Artist Contest offers a prominent stage for artists to express their advocacy through visual art and poetry, complemented by personal artist statements.
The program includes tailored coaching and an opportunity to partner with a former Rare Artist awardee to enhance artists’ skills as advocates. Awardees receive monetary prizes and are given the opportunity to present their work during Rare Disease Week on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Their creations are also featured throughout the year at various patient-focused and biopharmaceutical events, as well as being displayed at the Rare Hub and promoted through social media and website publications.
Our 2023 Rare Artist Awardees have harnessed this power to share their personal journeys. From paintings and sculptures to the newly added poetry medium, each piece is a window into a life shaped by a rare condition. These works do not just represent artistic expression; they are also tools of advocacy, bringing attention to the challenges and triumphs faced by approximately 30 million Americans living with rare diseases.
The Rare Artist Program is more than an art contest: it’s a community and a movement. Through exhibitions, online galleries, and events, we provide artists with a platform to reach a broader audience. We also offer opportunities for professional development, networking, and public recognition, all of which are crucial for artists, especially those who might face additional barriers due to their health conditions.
As we celebrate our 2023 awardees, we also look forward to the continued growth of the Rare Artist community. We invite artists of all ages and abilities, affected directly or indirectly by a rare disease, to join us. Whether you are an artist, an art enthusiast, or someone passionate about the rare disease cause, your support and participation can make a significant difference.
To learn more about the Rare Artist Program and how you can be involved, please visit EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases – Rare Artist Program.
Together, let’s continue to put patients first and use art as a catalyst for change and awareness in the rare disease community.
Image: Waiting by Gisela Victoria
“Rare Artist has given me the platform to be the voice for both patients and caregivers through my art — to tell our story and go towards change. Rare Artist has inspired me to paint again. I am very thankful.” – Gisela Victora