The art of a Mesa resident will be featured in the annual Creativity and Parkinson’s Calendar, published by the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, for the second year in a row.
Dr. Julio Angulo, Ph.D., is a retired psychologist who served the East Valley for some 30 years. He was diagnosed in 2000 with Parkinson’s, which is a progressive neurological disorder that can affect motor functions including movement, speech and thought.
Shortly after that, he began to explore creative outlets including painting and pottery through the Mohammed Ali Parkinson’s Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix.
“I had never painted before in my life,” Angulo said. “When I was invited to take part I said, ‘I have absolutely no talent in that area.’”
But he quickly learned he did have some natural ability in painting and it helped him to cope with his condition, he said, adding, “Expressive arts tend to increase the quality of life of those who have a chronic illness.” Eventually, his skill increased to the point that, last year, his painting was showcased in the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s calendar.
Angulo said he had some experience with pottery before his diagnosis, preferring to work with porcelain, but said he was pleasantly surprised to see how overcoming the limitations of Parkinson’s affected his art, giving it a more “rustic” appearance.
This year’s calendar will feature a teapot he crafted from Jamaica Clay, an example of the therapeutic value of creativity in Parkinson’s PDF seeks to highlight through the project.
The art for the calendar is selected from more than 400 submissions, all by artists living with Parkinson’s. A committee of volunteers, staff and graphic designers participate in three rounds of voting and then, from the final 13 works, one is chosen for the cover by vote from the Parkinson’s community online. The calendar is distributed to some 20,000 people annually and can be obtained free of charge by calling (800) 457-6676 or emailing email@example.com.
People living with Parkinson’s can submit their artwork at pdf.org/creativity.