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Handwritten is a place and space for pen and paper. We showcase things in handwriting, but also on handwriting. And so, you'll see dated letters and distant postcards alongside recent studies and typed stories. 

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Artistic Expression is as Essential as Breathing • Mary Fratesi

Brett Rawson

BY MARY FRATESI

Expressing my own thoughts pushes me outside my comfort zone. This is a good thing. Looking at these two pictures, you might understand something of the essence, but the context would be necessary to connect the thread for the lived experience.  

The building is Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where my daughter is in ICU. I have watched epilepsy nearly rob her of her entire life. The emotions are raw and consuming. I have difficulty pulling cohesive thought together and onto paper.  

But I was drawn to their togethernessthe image and these wordsas I love the act of writing, for lack of better words. These words are my normal every day writing. I studied calligraphy when in High School. I tremendously enjoyed it and practiced daily for hours. I am often told I am a good writer and seem to produce written bodies of work that often surprise myself. Without question, and speaking for myself, writing and photography are a passion through which I share myself. I tend to keep everything inside, preferring to focus on the needs of others, to help others realize their own gifts and to be their best.  

When it comes to expressing the great deal of sadness I have come to accept, I'm flooded with so many thoughts, that I find it tremendously difficult to find the words, in any semblance of cohesiveness.  Artistic expression is as essential as breathing. 

Mary Fratesi recently uncovered this photograph the other day, which is a picture of her practicing calligraphy when she was near 15-16 years of age. In the image, she is in her high school art classroom.