Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Carol's Art at Mary Free Bed for ArtPrize!

Many of you remember the amazing story of Carol’s friend Kate.

A year ago Carol designed a new metal magnet to support her friend Kate Clark, who suffered a devastating spinal cord injury while volunteering at her children’s school in Grand Rapids. She was paralyzed from the neck down. The magnet said “Great is thy Faithfulness.”

As Kate describes her experience: “The days that followed were filled with physical pain, deep sadness, profound love, bold prayer, rebellious hope, and God’s great faithfulness. Everyday the diagnosis of quadriplegia seemed to fit less. We praised God for every ounce of progress. My husband described me as ‘a trophy of God’s grace.’ My surgeon saw me on my feet eight weeks later and said, ‘I can take no credit. God did this.’”

Many of you came to Carol’s stores and bought that magnet. Because of you, Carol raised more than $5,000 for Kate’s continued care and therapy. We are happy to report that Kate and her family have moved to Chicago where her husband is happily teaching college and she is continuing to heal and take care of her kids.

What you may not know is that Kate went to Mary Free Bed for rehabilitation after her accident. Mary Free Bed is a rehabilitation hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a wonderful place and, fortunately, it is within the territory used for the art competition, ArtPrize. ArtPrize is an incredible art competition where artists have to find a place to display their art within a certain area within Grand Rapids. Visitors to ArtPrize wander the city to see and vote on all the artwork. The entry with the most votes wins $250,000—the largest art prize in the world.

To make this happen, artists and “venues” do a sort of speed dating. This year, Carol made a great match. She is going to install her art project at Mary Free Bed. She has painted with Kate and other patients of the hospital, and together they have created Walk With Me, Carol’s entry to this year’s competition. Walk With Me is 7 totems that will be on display outside of Mary Free Bed near the hospital’s therapy path.

Carol’s idea is that she will walk alongside Mary Free Bed to raise awareness and even funds. During certain hours of ArtPrize, people can purchase Carol’s designs of the words “hope, “freedom,” and the symbol for female (because the hospital was started by women). Patients painted many of these pieces. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Mary Free Bed. And, should Carol be a winner in this year’s ArtPrize, she intends to share the prize money with the hospital.

So, head to Grand Rapids, celebrate art, and vote for Carol and Mary Free Bed!


  1. This is an amazing story! I saw a link to it on TipToes facebook fan page. I'm so glad that they shared!

  2. Amazing story of love, faith and hope. Thank you for sharing.

  3. What a remarkable story and remarkable artist & friend! I hadn't planned to attend ArtPrize but this has changed my mind.

  4. What an amazing story of God's grace and a beautiful friendship!

  5. I'm really looking forward to seeing her entry at ArtPrize!!

  6. I'll have to check it out when we go to ArtPrize!

  7. I can't wait to see this entry! I hope it wins.