Charles is a patient who just completed his active in-office phase of vision therapy with us. We knew him principally as a Professor at a local university who desired to get back to teaching, though had no real grasp of the breadth of his talent prior to experiencing ABI. Charles has been very modest and unassuming, so I was blown away when my associate, Dr. Montenare, sent me the sketch above that Charles did. Normally when patients complete their in-office phase of therapy we give them a “graduation gift” of sorts, but in this instance it was Charles who gave us a gift that has made a lasting impression. His gift was his way of sharing that his ability to sketch, impoverished and fragmented after his ABI, was returning.
Here is my amateur’s interpretation of “A day at the Clinic”. Charles is obtaining a singular view of the eccentric circles, depicted by the unification of his two eyes, depicted by a cyclopean eye as he converges. His Brock String view of vergence with physiological diplopia represents another level of fusion and it should be noted that his ability to converge at the outset of vision therapy was close to nil. These process of convergence are complemented by PA charts, Sherman disks, and SVI training – depicting the integration of center and periphery. The most fascinating part however may be the mind’s eye atop the brain, with a line extending upward that shows a subtle midline shift to the right.
From his bio online, I learned the following. Charles began his career as teacher, artist, lecturer and administrator began at Carnegie Mellon University, where he received his BFA in 1964. He completed his MFA at Ohio State University in 1967. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions, including the Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery at the Williams Visual Arts Building at Lafayette College. He has had three one-man exhibitions at the Virginia Museum in Richmond, and two shows at the James Yu Gallery, New York, NY. His prints have been included in the following museum exhibitions: the Winston-Salem Museum, North Carolina; the Mint Museum, North Carolina; the Virginia Museum, Richmond, VA; the Whitney Museum, New York; the Norfolk Museum, VA; and the Brooklyn Museum, New York. Many of his works are held in permanent collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Reese Museum in Knoxville, Tennessee, General Re-Insurance, New York; William Mercer, New York; Guy Carpenter, New York and others. He is also the recipient of numerous awards, including a Best in Show award from the Juried Members’ Exhibition in East Hampton in 1990. In his drawings he transforms a natural world of still-life and landscapes into a series of abstract forms that connect and disconnect with each other, while moving on the surface of the paper in a composition of vortices. His is a visual vocabulary that belongs to the family of Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, early De Kooning, and Elizabeth Murray. Within this family, spirit and matter are joined.