2C The Dallas Morning News
Friday March 26, 1999
ARTS OUT THERE
||Blind Watercolor artist Lisa Fittipaldi of
Austin returns to the Florence Art Gallery with an exhibit of new works Friday and
Ms. Fittipaldi, whose gift is a mystery even to herself - she began painting only after
she lost her sight in 1993 - is not a novelty.
Shes truly talented, though her situation definitely adds to the aura of her vividly
The gallery, located at 2500 Cedar Springs, will hold receptions from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday
and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Ms. Fittipaldi will attend and demonstrate her technique.
Open to the public. Call (214) 754-7070 for more info.
|"Sisters" by Lisa Fittipaldi
Tom Sime writes about
emerging artists, community arts and theater for The Dallas Morning News. To submit
information on upcoming events, call (214) 977-7763 or fax (214) 977-8838. Or write to Tom
Sime, Arts and Entertainment, The Dallas Morning News, Communications Center, P.O. Box
655237, Dallas, Texas 75265.
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BEST Southwest Art . APRIL 1999 112
OF THE WESTT E X A S
By Kristin Bucher
"8 SECOND RIDE "
|DALLAS . . . . To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Florence Art
Gallery features a two person show of paintings by Veronica Ruiz de Velasco and Lisa
Fittipaldi. Velasco, a native of Mexico City, paints bold figurative works, particularly
dancers, as well as still life's of fruit. Fittipaldi, who taught herself to paint in 1995
after losing 70 percent of her vision, creates detailed, realistic watercolors. A former financial analyst who traveled
the world, she sketches her designs with a pencil that reflects light and tells the
pigments apart by their textures.
Art Colors Life: Veronica Ruiz de Velasco / Lisa Fittipaldi, through April 30,
Florence Art Gallery, 214.754.7070
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HOUSTON NEWS TODAY Online
By Emily Elsen
27 - Lisa Fittipaldi literally woke up one day in the middle of her life and began
painting. Not an unusual event, unless you consider one piece of information - Fittipaldi
She wasn’t always blind. In fact, she spent most of her life as a
certified public accountant, working at an Austin hospital, until an
illness stole her sight.
Three years later, talking to a Houston reporter at the Bayou City Arts Festival, she
marvels at the strange way painting seemed to just come naturally to her - even though,
now, she had no visual point of reference on which to base her work.
"Its probably one of the better things that happened," Fittipaldi told
Houston News Today. "In the short run, I was miserable. In the long run, I think it
will be all right. I have no right to be this happy."
She was declared legally
blind in 1993. The Texas Commission for the Blind offered to add the technology Fittipaldi
would need, as a sightless employee, to continue her work at the hospital, but her
employer didnt want to upgrade. "They did everything in their power to make me
fail," Fittipaldi said. "The entire experience of being blind was a real
When the hospital offered
her a buyout, she took it rather than to continue to feel miss treated. "It was the
only decision I could make and keep my sanity," she explained. To fill the time
Fittipaldi once spent crunching numbers, she decided to become a sculptor, and enrolled in
a class, which was canceled at the last minute. Then her husband Al brought home a
rectangular childs watercolor set. Fittipaldi dove in and started painting. Amazed
at his wifes talent, Al immediately went out and bought Lisa an adult set of paints.
At first, Fittipaldi started out with traditional flower and landscape paintings. As she
began learning, she would have Al read her every art book they could get their hands on.
Using a special IBM program, which reads articles over the Internet to her, Fittipaldi
surfed the net for valuable painting tips.
came the challenge of painting people, which was especially difficult since she
couldnt see what anyone looked like. One painting, "Snow Birds," was the
result of an experience Fittipaldi had in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Every morning when
she took her dog Wizard for a walk at 6:30a.m., she kept hearing what she believed were
the same voices. "I got the impression that they never moved,"
her studio, a couple months later, she started painting the people she thought fit the
voices. The result was a watercolor of several senior citizens, some lounging, some
engaged in a Snow Bird conversation on a bench.
"A lot of people say they recognize Uncle Herbie (in the painting)," she
remembers. Her actual vision is like the snow on a television screen, Fittipaldi said.
Its her imagination that soars with a vision long gone.
"Just because I cant see doesnt mean I cant function,"
Fittipaldi said. "Ive had people say, Who allows you to be out by
yourself? At the symphony, in a bathroom, Ive had people talk about me like
Im not there. And at a store, I cant get waited on."
There have been times, too, when people buy her work without knowing shes blind.
"They just like it and buy a couple of pieces," she said.
hopes, one day, to go on a trek. Shed like to paint the people of India, though she
doesnt have to venture out of her Georgetown studio to know how she thinks she would
"I find that I get up
in the middle of the night and paint them anyway," Fittipaldi explained.
Meet Fittipaldi and see her
artwork this weekend at the Memorial Park Arts Festival .
Have you ever seen
Fittipaldis work? What did you think?
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NBC affiliate - Austin, TX
- Jim Swift "On The Porch" - March 1997.
CBS affiliate - San Antonio, TX - Gary DeLaune - News Feature - April
FOX affiliate - Cleveland, OH - News Feature - May 31, 1998.
FOX Network - Dallas, TX - Jeff Crilley - Feature - July 2-4, 1998 (National Syndication)
WTAN radio - Tampa, FL - Lisa McKnight - "The Beach"
- Live - July 28, 1998.
FOX affiliate - Austin, TX - Joe Bickett -"Positively Texas"
- August 6,7,1998.
NBC affiliate - Memphis, TN - "Rod Starnes Journal"
- Oct 18-19, 1998.
FOX affiliate - Mobile, AL - "Good Morning Mobile"
- 2hr Live - Nov 11, 1998.
NBC affiliate - Mobile, AL - News Feature - Nov 14, 1998.
CBS affiliate - Mobile, AL - News Feature - Nov 14, 1998.
All Network - Bob Phillips - "Texas Country Reporter"
- Feb 27,28 - April 11 - July 10,11, 1999
(National & Cable
ABC affiliate - Dallas - "Good Morning Texas"
- 1hr Live - March 30, 1999.
CBS affiliate - Omaha, NE - "The Morning Show"
- Live - June 25, 1999.
KFAB radio - Omaha, NE - "The Tom Becka Show"
- 1hr Live - June 25, 1999
FOX affiliate - Omaha, NE - News Feature - June 25, 26, 27 1999 (Syndicated).
NBC affiliate - Omaha, NE - News Feature - June 25, 26, 27 1999.
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO - (National Syndication) - May 12, 2000.
FOX Network - Miami, FL - "Deco Drive" - May
15, 2000. (Syndicated).
BBC World News - London U.K. - Malcom Brabant - "Blind
Artist's Painting Passion"
567 Radio - Cape Town, S. Africa - Len Johnson - "Cape Talk
South" - Live
- August 12, 2000.
CBS affiliate - San Antonio, TX - Bridget Smith - News Feature - August
FOX affiliate - Atlanta, GA - "Good Morning Atlanta"
- Live - September 23, 2000.
PAX Network - Richard Thomas - "It's a Miracle" -
November 6, 2000, Jan 28 & May 1,2001,
January 7, 2002. (International & Cable Syndication)
Discovery Health - "Life Force" - February 8,
2001- (National & Cable
ABC affiliate - San Antonio, TX - News Feature - March 16, 2001.
The Oprah Winfrey Show - Oprah Winfrey & Richard Thomas - "Your
Spirit" - March 28, 2001
KTSA radio - San
Antonio, Tx - "Eliza Sunneland Show" - Live - June 12, 2001.
NBC affiliate - San Antonio, TX - "San Antonio Living"
- Live - June
ABC affiliate - San Antonio, TX - Evening News - June 14, 2001.
The Oprah Winfrey Show - Oprah Winfrey - July 2, 2001. (International Syndication)
Lifetime - Melissa Ethridge - "Beyond Chance"
- August 11, 2001. (International Syndication)
The Oprah Winfrey Show
- Melbourn, Australia - October 4, 2001. (International Syndication)
- Premier - "Boundaries" - National Multimedia Presentation -
Aug 24, 2001. (National
NBC - New York - "Every Woman" - February 21, 2002 (National
OXYGEN - New York - "Journeys" - March 9-10, 2002.
NBC affiliate - Louisiana - Prime time news - March 27, 2002.
WAKR radio - Akron, Ohio - Ray Horner -
- April 22, 2002.
PBS Television - Kansas - "Kansas Arts Today" - May 5, 2002.
CBS affiliate - Austin, TX - News Feature - August 5, 2002.
Lifetime - Melissa Ethridge
- "Beyond Chance"
- March 1, 2003. (International Syndication)
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO - "Studio 360" - (National Syndication) - May 1, 2003.
WNOL radio - Rochester, N.Y. - Talk Public Radio - "30 Minutes of Art"
- Sept 28, 2003.
PBS - New York - "Every Woman" - Sept 28, 2003 -
October 5, 2003.
PBS - Buffalo, N.Y. - "Every Woman" - Sept 28, 2003 - October
ABC - Syracuse, N.Y. - "Every Woman" - Sept 29, 2003
- October 6, 2003.
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO - "Studio 360" -
January 22, 2004.
BBC - "Radio 4 Series with Peter White"
- February 23, 2004.
KUT Radio 90.5 - Austin - Michael May -
Live - February 23, 2004.
NBC affiliate - Austin, TX
"Blind Woman Creates Art Paintings" - November 15,
Univision - "Todos Por Mujeres - Entrevista Con Lisa Fittipaldi"
- November 24, 2004.
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO - "Interview with Lisa Fittipaldi" -
January 28, 2005.
Tanji Media Broadcasting
- Japan - "Unbelievable" - August 26 and September 8, 2005.
Antonio Express News - Fri, April 18, 1997 - by Dan Goddard.International - Internet)
Times Record News - Wichita Falls, TX - Sat, April 26, 1997 - by Cody V.
Salina Journal - Salina, KS - Sun, June 15, 1997 - by Gordon Fiedler.
Williamson County Sun - Georgetown, TX - Wed, July 16, 1997 - by Paula
Austin American Statesman - Austin, TX - Wed, July 16, 1997 - by Pamela
Gulf Coast Newspapers - Fairhope, AL - Sat, March 21, 1998 - by Paige
Houston News Today - Houston, TX - March 27-Apr 1, 1998 - by Emily Elsen.
Houston Chronicle - Houston, TX - Wed, May 20, 1998 - by Mike Warren.
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Cleveland, OH - Wed, May 28, 1998.
Garland News - Garland, TX - Wed, July 1, 1998.
Williamson County Sun - Georgetown, TX - Sun, Oct 4, 1998.
Dallas Morning News - Dallas, TX - Mon, Nov 2, 1998 - by Tom Sime (Internet).
Gulf Coast Newspapers - Fairhope, AL - Wed, Nov 4, 1998. (Syndicated)
Fairhope Courier -Fairhope, AL-Artist Returns for Fest &
Talk Wed, Nov 11,1998.
Dallas Morning News - Dallas, TX - Fri, March 26, 1999 - by Tom Sime (Internet).
Southwest Art - Magazine - "Best of Texas" - April 1999 - by
Park City People - Dallas, TX - Thurs, May 20,1999 - by Ken Raymond.
Omaha World Herald - Omaha, NE - Sun, Jun 20 1999 - by John Keenan.
Williamson County Sun - Georgetown, TX - Sun, Jun 20, 1999 - by Amiee
Art Baby Art - November, 1999 - by Al James (International Art Magazine)(Internet).
Austin Monthly - Austin, TX - "A Blind Woman Shall Lead Them" -
April, 2000 - by Jason Siegel.
Sun-Sentinel - Miami, FL - "Lifestyle" - Thu, May 11, 2000 - by
Miami Herald - Miami, FL - Thu, May 11, 2000.
Entertainment News & Views - Miami, FL - "Coffee & Chat
with..Lisa Fittipaldi" - May 5-11, 2000.
Miami New Times - Miami, FL - "Artist's Blind Ambition" - May
11-17, 2000 - by Michael W. Sasser.
Renaissance Magazine - Miami, FL - March 15-28, 2000.
Selecta Magazine - Miami, FL - "Un Recorrido por las Exhibiciones
del momento" - May, 2000.
ArtsFusion - (The Miami Herald - Internet) - Cover Story - July,
The National Enquirer - Lantana, FL - "Blind Painter Takes
The Art World By Storm"
2000 by Philip Smith (International World News)
The New York Post - New York, N.Y. - "A Blind Painter's Vision"
March 10, 2001
by Barbara Hoffman.
The Express News - San Antonio, TX - "Oprah Crew in San
Antonio" - March 16, 2001.
The Oprah Show - Chicago, Ill - Oprah.com - March 28, 2001. (
London Daily Telegraph - London, UK - "Colours shine in the
mind's eye" - April 11, 2001 -
by James Langton.(International
Fine Art Magazine - (Forbes) - "Creating Art With The Mind's
Eye" - Spring, 2001 - by Al James.
Austin Magazine - Austin, Tx - "It's All In Her Head"
- Spring, 2001 - by Kay Powers.
Celebrate Austin - Austin, Tx - "An Artist Who Happens To Be
Blind" - April, 2001.
Stern Magazine - Germany - leute, KUNSTWERKE, "Gefuhlte
Farben" - STERN 19/2001.
San Antonio Express News - "Whats Happening" - Monday, 28 May,
San Antonio Current - Art Space - "It's All In Her Head"
- June 7-13, 2001 - by Jonathan Marcus.
San Antonio Express News - S.A.Life - "Blind Ambition"
- June 12, 2001 - by Elda Silva.
Associated Press Wire Service - "Painter Overcomes Visual
Disability to Find Success" -
June 23-24, 2001 - by Michelle Koidin. (International; Internet)
People Magazine - Arts - "In Her Mind's Eye" -
October 15, 2001 - by Chris Coats (International).
San Antonio Express News - "Visually impaired artist an
inspiration to many"
October 21, 2001
by Susan Yerkes.
The Asahi Shimbun - Japan - January 12, 2002. (International).
Nurse Zone - Spotlight on Nurses - "The Mind's Eye: Former Nurse
Discovers Artistic Talent" -
February 26, 2002 - by Kristin Rothwell. (Internet)
American Press - SW Louisiana - "Arts Alive Features Blind Artist"
- March 22, 2002.
Newsday - New York - "Colors in the Dark" - March 26, 2002
- by Steve Parks.
The Sentry - Akron, OH -
"Blind Artist Featured at Benefit Gala" - April 14, 2002.
The Leader - Akron, OH - "Cause For Celebration"
- April 11-17, 2002.
Akron Beacon Journal - Akron, OH - "Artist Lisa Fittipaldi guest at
- April 22, 2002.
The Montrose Sun - Kansas - "Around the Town" - April 25, 2002 -
by Joyce Johnson.
The Herald - Barberton, OH - "Entertainment" - April 25, 2002.
The Salina Journal - Kansas - "Blind Ambition" - July 26, 2002
- by Gary Demuth.
Daily Word - "A Journey of Discovery" - October 2002.
Good Life Magazine - "Blind Ambition" - December 2002 - by
Good Life Coaching - issue #44 - "Living the Creative Life" -
December 2002 - by Sharon Good.
Angels on Earth - A Guidepost Publication - "My Mind's Eye" -
- Celestial Arts Publishing - Chapt.6 - 2004 -
by Joan C. King, PhD.
- "Changes in the Air" - November 29, 2004.
- "Extras" - "A Brush With Darkness" - December, 2004.
Getting in Touch With Literacy
- "A Brush With Darkness" - February, 2005.
- "A Brush With Darkness" - February 1, 2005.
Houston Community Newspapers
- "Art Beyond Sight" - March 12, 2005.
- Spotlight on Nurses - "A Brush With Darkness" -
Artist Magazine - "Blind Ambition" - April 2005 - by Kate Mesch
- Features art by Lisa Fittipaldi at Azuca Restaurant -
- San Antonio, TX - "Blind and Talented" - July/August 2005 -
by Jasmina Wellinghoff
UKLupus - London - "Art From The Mind's Eye" - August 7, 2005.
of Fine Art Austin - July, 1997.
Touring Museum Exhibit
- "Blind Ambition: The Art of Lisa Fittipaldi".
Florence Art Gallery - "Wonders of the Minds Eye" -
November, 1998 (Today Show
Florence Art Gallery - "Art Colors Life" - March, 1999.
Dallas Museum of Art - "Beaux Art" - April, 1999.
City of Omaha Nebraska - June, 1999 - Featured Artist
City of Garland, Texas - July, 98 & 99 - Featured guest artist.
Texas Country Reporter Festival - Dallas, Texas - September 19, 1999 -
Pink Palace Museum - Memphis, Tenn. - October, 1999.
Gallery SOCO - Austin, TX - March, 2000.
Bal Harbour Gallery - Miami, FL - May, 2000.
Wentworth Galleries - July, 2000.
Wentworth Gallery - Atlanta,GA - September, 2001.
Art Expo - New York, N.Y. - March, 2001.
Witte Museum - San Antonio - "Blind Ambition" - June 14-July15,
Sands Point Museum - New York - "Blind Ambition"- March 30 - June 02, 2002.
Sternberg Museum - Hays, Kansas - "Blind Ambition" -
June 29 -
September 08, 2002.
Held over by popular
demand till December 31, 2002
Gallery of America
-Grand Duchy of Luxembourg-"A Career Resume, Encompassing Art"
December 4, 2002.
"Man of the House" - Lisa's paintings were featured in this movie
staring Tommy Lee Jones in 2005.
Now available on DVD.
Tribes Gallery - New York - September 9, 2005 thru October 1, 2005.
Citicorp - New York - October 15, 2005 thru November 15, 2005.
Key Note Speaking Engagements:
Delta Gamma -
San Antonio, Texas -
March 02, 2002.
International Interior Design Association - Austin, Texas - March 12,
Arnett School - Lake Charles,
Louisiana - "Arts Alive" - March 26, 2002.
The Society For the Blind "Black & White Gala" - Akron, Ohio - April 26, 2002.
Kansas State University - Hays, Kansas - Art Lecture & Demonstration
- October 22, 2002.
Vision Expo - Phoenix, AZ - Phoenix Civic Plaza - November 8, 2002.
Delta Gamma - Dallas, TX - February 1, 2003.
Citicorp - New York, NY - November 3, 2005.
Conference on Literacy - Denver, CO - December 1, 2005.
21st Annual International Technology Conference - California - March
City of Garland; Medical
Resources, Inc.; Baybreeze Inns, Inc; Prescott Insurance, Inc.; Fairhope
Jewelers, Inc.; San Antonio Court Reporting; Stafford Realty; Fairhope
Sculpture Corp.; Preston Hicks, PC; Century 21; Sir Wigglesworth,
Inc.; Lions Club, Desoto; Arta-Milan, Italy; Willy Nelson; Klussendorf,
London; Catherine Fortune, Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks).....to name a few.
The Minds Eye
Foundation - Founder of a non profit charity providing educational technology for low
vision, visually impaired, hearing impaired and blind children who are mainstreamed into
the educational environment, for the purpose of assisting the children in achieving their
full potential. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Lisas books
and art goes to the
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