Art Showcase: Footwork

In recognition of ALS Awareness Month, please join UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine in celebrating original works of art by Sandra Murphy-Pak, an artist and colleague, living with ALS.  Footwork is a compilation of her recent work and an exploration in how an artist can continue to work without use of her hands.

The exhibit will be on display May 4-June 17, 2016 in the Criser Cancer Resource Center from 9am-5pm. An artist reception will be held on May 12, 2016 from 4-6pm. For more information about her process and work, please visit:

Sandra Murphy-PakSandra Murphy-Pak is an artist living with ALS.  She holds a BFA in painting from the Atlanta College of Art and a Master’s in Arts Education from the University of Florida.  She is the mother of three amazing daughters.  She has volunteered and worked with Arts in Medicine for more than a decade, creating community driven projects both here in the United states and in Africa, and has worked as Visual Artist in Residence at UF Health Shands Hospital.  She derives inspiration from nature in all of its infinite forms.  And in native cultures and their close relationship to nature as expressed and symbolized in their art and architecture.  Now the artist, utilizing her feet, embarks on a new journey to create works of art that reflect her inner universe–to realize the innate drive of all humans to express themselves within nature, within their world, within their cosmos.

Artist Statement

I am an artist living with ALS.  I’ve embarked on a journey to continue creating art without the use of my hands.  When my hands and arms were fully functioning I was a hand talker.  Now I find I am doing more of these motions with my feet.  With the encouragement of my dear friend and artist Sarah Hinds, I have begun the process of drawing with my feet.  Sarah has assisted me in working with pulverized charcoal and tempera to create these works.11902473_1710660385828868_5926055853060963180_n

My current work is experimental, working intuitively with basic materials.  I hope to create works that reflect my love of abstract form and forms in nature.  There is pleasure in the process, but the overall physicality takes a lot of effort.  My condition only allows me to work short periods of time.

When I work on this series I am thinking of a concentric circle of care that represents my support network from family, friends, caregivers and my medical team, but also a life force that emanates from within me and from within all living beings.

My dear friend Mary Whiting was recently describing the scientific discovery regarding the gravitational waves that allowed scientists to hear the convergence of two black holes.  During this conversation she beautifully described how we are made up of particles of our universe.  I like to think of being one minute element in this infinite masterpiece.  When I set to work, I am really working from my own internal universe.

Please click on the images below to view enlarged slide show.

Murphy-Pak Emily's Birthday Piece
Emily’s Birthday Piece
Murphy-Pak experiment #7
Experiment #7
Murphy-Pak footwork black smudge

Information about ALS: