IT WAS A BATTLE FOR DAN, HE WAS A PIONEER

It was difficult for Dan, extremely difficult for Dan, to reach his potential. It was difficult getting him out of a restricted classroom environment, getting him mainstreamed, getting him out of even the restricted environment within the mainstreaming of getting him was difficult-- he had a battle when he went to college to be accepted as an artist. So I just think it’s from all those battles. And whenever he had difficulty one thing that Dan and I always talked about was, you are a pioneer. Dan, with your disability and your intelligence, you fall through the cracks of all the programs. We have to battle through this and you’ll just be opening doors for other people, that someone coming through the door behind you can get through the door easily. it was definitely-- it was a battle for Dan to reach the heights that he reached. It was a battle for him, it was a battle for me as his mother.

-Dan's Mom, Lynda

AN INCREDIBLE SPIRIT

Dan does have this incredible fighting spirit and when you couple that with the physical conditions that he works within, there is something that happens that’s a really strong voice, a special voice. It’s almost like you need that friction, you need that tension between his drive and his challenges to make that voice as powerful as it is.

-Dan’s Mentor, Stuart Stein, Faculty Towson Art Department

DAN SEES THE WORLD IN COLORS FEW PEOPLE SEE

Dan shows what’s possible. Dan shows that life is about joy. Dan shows that life is a journey toward expression, towards understanding. Dan sees the world in color. Dan sees the world in colors that very few people see and to be able to see the world through his eyes, to see the world with his spirit.

-Friend of Dan, Richard Ellenson

HEROES BEGIN IN SMALLER PLACES

We’ve evolved enough to understand that heroes begin in a smaller place and they’re the people who we can look up to. Dan has embraced the opportunity he was given and is constantly sharing his vision with so many other people. It’s incredibly important.

-Friend of Dan, Richard Ellenson

MY LIFE IS ADVOCACY AND ART

In my life I hope to show everybody that they can persevere.

-Dan

   Still Photos by Susie Fitzhugh and Susan Hadary