The Artist

Picture
After a forty year career as a celebrated portrait photographer in Westwood NJ, Jean had to accept that holding a
camera would no longer be a part of his everyday life. Through therapy and necessity, Jean learned to use his left hand, having lost all mobility in his favored right arm.

The connection between thought and spoken words has been forever severed, as the most prominent effect
of the stroke is his aphasia. Aphasia is a language disorder that impairs the expression and understanding of spoken language, reading and writing. This frustrating condition affects a person's ability to communicate but does not affect his or her intellect. Communication is essential for survival and Jean is making it his life's work to communicate in a unique and complex way.

A few years after his stroke, having gone through speech and occupational therapy, Jean attempted to decipher his thoughts by courageously connecting pen to paper. First with letters, an array of alphabetical jumbles came up short of any understandable message. Soon, the pages lost their lines and Jean began to draw with a voice that speaks to his
viewers in a language all it's own. Mazes, lines, faces and abstract shapes and scenes decorated the white pages of his spiral bound journals. His pen must be in perfect condition, for the masterpiece it may create can not afford a smudge.

Jean is a remarkable human being with a natural ability to make your heart light up. His sense of humor is astounding and infectious. As an artist, husband, father and friend, Jean teaches us that no matter what challenges we are faced with, there is always a way to adapt and find success in our moments of frustration. 

Jean is currently a member of the Adler Aphasia Center in Maywood, NJ, which he has been a part of for over a year now. He attends the center two days a week where he has the opportunity to socialize with other members of our community affected by aphasia. Participation in communication skills groups, computer workshops and 'The Drama Club' have brought Jean a sense of belonging and understanding. Being in this positive, supportive community has given him strength and confidence he has not had in years. His friends and the staff at the center have become his support system, an encouraging new family that brings him joy and lots of laughter. For more information on the Adler Aphasia Center, please visit, http://adleraphasiacenter.org.