Abstract artist Aimee Hofmann creates uplifting work for art exhibition using her wheelchair as a tool.
Burke Rehabilitation has announced the installation of “The Journey of Healing,” a permanent art exhibition at its White Plains, NY, campus. The exhibit features artwork by Westchester resident and abstract artist Aimee Hofmann that uplifts patients, caregivers, and staff members.
Notably, Hofmann uses her wheelchair and paintbrushes to create highly inspiring works of art. She utilizes wheels from older wheelchairs to mix paint and blend it on canvas.
“Riding over the canvas to make wheelchair marks acts as a stamp and provides an aesthetic appeal,” says Hofmann. “My art is an extension of myself. It shows people that wheelchairs give us freedom and movement; they allow us to navigate the world and travel. I want people to see them as tools that can move, change, and combine things.”
The paintings are prominently displayed across from Burke’s Activities of Daily Living gymnasium, where patients can view the work and learn about Hofmann’s story of courage. In 2006, Hofmann was diagnosed with a neurological condition called Transverse Myelitis, an inflammation in the spinal cord that caused complete paralysis of her spine. She found peace, comfort, and emotional healing while participating in a therapeutic art program during her initial stages of recovery.
While viewing “The Journey of Healing” art exhibition, an individual sees the track marks symbolizing freedom. The swirls created with different-sized brush strokes demonstrate how life comes full circle. They lead the viewers’ eyes on a journey around the painting, an experience Hofmann describes as one of healing.
“I want the patients at Burke to feel uplifted and energized when they see these paintings. I deliberately chose a vibrant color palette and movement,” says Hofmann of her art exhibition. “You can see the wheelchair track marks and the wild gestural marks and swirls.”
According to Jodi Moise, director of The Fine Art Program and Collection at Montefiore Medicine, “Aimee’s paintings serve as inspiration and motivation for patients that are undergoing rehabilitative therapy. Her personal journey, filled with loss, resilience, strength, and hope, sends the message that anyone can overcome their individual obstacles and move forward.” She adds, “Painting was a vehicle that aided Aimee along her road to recovery. It is my hope that patients embrace her story and recognize that art can be a tool to support one’s healing.”
Hofmann worked in marketing and advertising before becoming a professional artist. While she was always creative, dancing, playing the piano, and sketching, her paralysis reintroduced art back into her life.
“The paintings are dedicated to the patients at Burke,” says Hofmann, “but my journey can inspire not only people with disabilities but everyone who has gone through adversities.”
Burke Rehabilitation is a not-for-profit healthcare organization devoted solely to acute physical rehabilitation. Its main campus is located in White Plains, NY. Founded in 1915 through an endowment from philanthropist John Masterson Burke, it has been a member of the Montefiore Health System since 2016. Burke operates the only hospital in Westchester County dedicated solely to adult and adolescent rehabilitation medicine. Burke also offers therapeutic care in locations throughout Westchester County, the Hudson Valley, and the Bronx for those who have experienced injuries, surgery, or chronic conditions, from the simple to the very complex. For additional information, visit www.burke.org.
Photo Caption: Aimee Hofmann, painter, poses for photos at her studio in Tuckahoe, New York. Photo: Kenneth Gabrielsen.