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2012 Gallery

Not All Differences Can Be Seen

by: Michala Schonewald, Kirriemuir, Scotland

What if I let you borrow my eyes? What do you think you'd SEE?

quote by: Riverview High School Co-Existence Club , Sarasota, Florida
teacher: Dena Sturm

Artist Statement

Not all differences are visible to the naked eye. My partner is tall, handsome, a hard worker who plays football twice a week, and has no discernible disability. However, at the age of seven, he was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. At twelve his eyes showed their first signs of deterioration. With diabetes it’s not a question of if you lose your sight, but how long you can keep your sight. The saying “the eyes are a window to the soul” was my inspiration for this piece. For a diabetic, the eyes are a window to nerve damage and hemorrhages. In creating this piece, I pushed myself and my partner to really face his disease and look to the future. I have kept a journal of my thoughts and fears, and it makes up the background of this image. The components I added to the eye (the clock and spare watch parts) show the importance of the passage of time in the degradation of a diabetic’s eyesight. I also incorporated the diabetic symbol in a blue circle. The text in the piece is from a one hundred year old “Household Physician” which talks about the treatment of uranium and opiates for a diabetic. It was published a few years before the discovery of insulin. Although the discovery was miraculous, there has not been much progression in nearly one hundred years. Diabetics are still dying from heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and brain damage. Diabetes has no prejudice – it effects all ages and races, it does not care who shares your bed or how healthy you live. If by having this piece in the exhibit and awareness of this disease reaches just one person, then my mission was a success.


Ryan & Wendy Glasser
Ora & Joseph Mendels Family Foundation