A struggling museum in Maine just got some much-needed help from an unexpected source: Artist Jessica Jewett. Born with a rare defect, she's a quadriplegic who paints and draws with her mouth. The 38-year-old history buff is on a mission to memorialize a Civil War hero, General Joshua Chamberlain. "He got shot through the pelvis and it was in such a way that it debilitated him for the rest of his life. But he was still able to become governor of Maine and president of Bowdoin College," Jewett said. But when Jewett visited Chamberlain's 200-year-old home, which is now the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum, its frayed condition was less than inspiring.
"Financially, I'm not able to make donations, but what I can do is turn my skills into something useful for the museum," Jewett said. She spent weeks drawing Chamberlain's home. In only an hour, the sketch sold on her website and prints are going fast, too. She's giving every dollar to the museum to help with restorations. Its caretakers are overwhelmed by her gift.
"She is not letting it stop her just like Chamberlain did not let it stop him. That's an incredibly powerful message," said Larissa Vigue Picard, Director of the Pejepscot Historical Center.
Jewett is drawing inspiration from the past to preserve its future. "I want to see other people take heart in the belief that one person can make a difference," she said.
Learn more about Jessica Jewett's artwork here.
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