The Crutch Painting

Yesterday, Cazzy asked what the significance of this painting was. Since it’s been in a lot of posts recently, I thought I’d elaborate.

It was painted in 2005 by my good friend Melissa painted this for an art show. While she was an undergrad, she took a trip to Quebec and visited
Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. The basilica is believed to have healing powers. According to Wikipedia, “one of the builders of the original church, Louis Guimont, helped build the church despite having severe scoliosis and needing the aid of a crutch.”

People would come to the church, be healed, and leave their crutches/braces attached to the columns of the church and lining the isles. There are pictures of it online here & here.

I asked Melissa why she chose to paint this and here’s what she said:

I was just so moved by the history of the crutches each individual person and their story… I painted it after I graduated, when I was living in my apartment. This was my only new piece for [my art] show.

Melissa gave me the painting right before she moved out-of-state.

To me, the painting is about hope and rebirth; new beginnings. The idea that you can reinvent yourself and change. That you can do anything you set your mind to. That possibility always exists.

I’m not sure Melissa intended any of those things when she painted it but that’s the beautiful thing about art; the meaning is subjective and totally personal.

Do you have a favorite piece of art? What is it? Why?

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2 Responses to The Crutch Painting

  1. I wrote about my favorite piece today! I think a big thing that draws me to it is its massive size… perfect for my vaulted ceilings.

  2. Margaret says:

    I came across your site while researching pictures of the crutches from Ste. Anne de Beaupre. I am a writer and currently have a friend who is certain she will receive a miracle. She is unsure if the miracle will be a healing, a cure, or something for her family, but she believes there will be one. This past March when she was diagnosed with stage 4 inoperable lung cancer, she wrote her friends and said “don’t feel sorry for me – I only want positive thoughts and words”. She also asked us to claim this miracle with her, no matter what it is.
    Since then, I have been writing her a story every day and emailing it to her and I have promised to write one every single day until she gets her miracle. These short stories are about raising my sons alone, people I have met on the street, perseverance and grace. Deb’s friends began asking if they could read them so we could all think of her when we read them, a united front of love. Then those friends asked if they could send them to other friends who have friends with cancer and the list of people reading for Deb has grown into the 100’s. Together, we are READING FOR A MIRACLE.
    ANYWAYS…I wanted to send her a pic of the crutches with today’s story which tells how 30 years ago I saw these crutches on a high school trip and how they impacted me…
    BTW – if ever you would sell this painting, I would love to be considered the new owner – it would be very meaningful to me.
    Margaret Terry
    ps if you would like to read the story, let me know and I will forward it.

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