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On July 13, 2001 my mother suffered a massive stroke while driving that destroyed 50% of the left side of her brain. After months in the hospital my mother returned home severely disabled and at 21 years old I made the decision to leave school and move back home to care for her. For the next six years I was her primary caregiver and although the physical and emotional demands were at times very difficult I quickly became aware of a much more disturbing phenomenon. Wherever we went I was constantly reminded of the public misconceptions of people with disabilities, from buildings and businesses that we could not physically get into to being completely ignored as if we were a problem everyone wished would go away. Witnessing these moments and the destructive power that they held over my mother, I could not help but direct my work to exploring where these stereotypes of people with disabilities originates from and the effects that they have on women with disabilities. Many times it derives itself from not fitting into the standards of what is considered bodily “normal.” For a woman with disabilities this sentiment is compounded with ideals of beauty that one may feel they no longer fit into. Drawing from the experiences I have had with my mother and other women that I have worked with, my work strives to bring this particular aspect of the disabled experience away from the realm of the “Other” and into a shared understanding of human experience.
Amanda Boehm-Garcia holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Cameron University where she graduated Cum Laude, as well as a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the San Francisco Art Institute where she was awarded a full tuition fellowship in 2006. Boehm-Garcia has shown her work nationally in numerous juried exhibitions and is also the recipient of multiple awards. Recently, Boehm-Garcia has published spot illustrations online with FreedomDebtRelief, Bills.com, and tellingreads.com, as well as creating several book covers for independent authors.