Lidia de Jesús CHÁIDEZ LÓPEZ
Birthplace: Culiacán, Sinaloa, México
scholarship holder of AMFPA since: 1998
Painting Method: Mouth painter
I was born on March 14, 1970 in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa.
I was the oldest of seven siblings, a normal child up until 13 when I was involved in a car accident. I fractured my spinal column at the level of between the 4th – 7th cervical, resulting in medullar compression. This affected the sensitivity and movement of my arms and legs.
Since then, I’ve had to change residence to the city of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, mainly due to my hospital treatments and rehabilitation sessions. Thanks to these, I was able to improve my health and sit in a wheelchair.
At the beginning, all this was very difficult for me and my family. Soon after, my parents separated causing a breakup within the family unit. The fact that my family had very little information related to disabilities, combined with our low economic resources, the strong indifference and social discrimination that existed for disabled people, made it very difficult for me to push ahead and resume my studies.
I did finish high school as well as my preparatory courses in the available open system in a period of a year and a half. I went on to study at the University the course study in Social Psychology. This was a phase in my life with many financial problems and obstacles. We did not have our own home and, at school, two people had to carry me to the second and third floors since there were no elevators or access ramps. I was able to finally finish my professional career with good grades thanks to scholarships, the University´s support, the local Association of disabled people from the local and municipal government, and many altruistic people and friends that helped me during this process.
Since I was a little girl I recall liking to draw and sketch and, for the first time when I was 16, I did some sketching with the mouth and then I learned to write. I continued drawing and tried a few paintings.
When I was in my last year at the University, I was invited to participate as a scholarship grantee with the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, of which I have been a member since 1998. Because of this I became more determined. I continued to develop my artistic aptitudes by taking new courses at the Regional Museum, practicing at home and self teaching myself. I also was able to display my work in some exhibitions in cultural centers and at universities. In the year 2000, I won the “Plástica Ahome” Award with an oil painting.
Being a part of the Association has benefitted me in many ways. I´ve been able to have financial independence, develop my artistic abilities, improve my self-esteem, allowed me to adapt and incorporated myself to society more and more, and has given me a more positive attitude in general. Besides painting, I currently work on the coordination of a municipal program for the disabled, and I have also been able to obtain my own house and a vehicle that provides transportation for my daily activities. I have obtained recognition from government social institutions for my artistic achievements, as well as for my social work. This has been very significant and gratifying.
I have been offering painting courses to disabled students since October 2006, especially to those that cannot use their hands. Some of my students are scholarship grantees from the Painting Association. We have organized a few collective expositions with much success. The painting club is called “ERICH STEGMANN” in honor of our founder.
I live with my husband and we support each other. I got married and I am very happy. I feel like any other person; very fortunate to have obtained my achievements with determination and effort to improve myself and, above all, with the help I have received from God through those human beings that surround me. Especially to Mr. John Grepe - I will be forever grateful for his kindness.