Asian Pacific Heritage Month: Rye artist defies all odds to take on her passion

Aimee Hofmann begins each painting session like most artists, but her work is anything but traditional.
In 2006, she began to lose sensation in her legs and was rushed to the hospital where she was diagnosed with transverse myelitis – an inflammation in the spinal cord.
“The doctors told me there is a chance you may never walk again…those words…just hit me like a punch in the stomach,” said Hofmann.
During the difficult months that followed in the hospital, she was introduced to a therapeutic art program.
“I will never forget the first moment when the paint hit the canvas,” said Hofmann. “I just felt a sense of peace just wash over my whole body and all the sudden I fell joy.”
That sense of hope is evident in her paintings as she transforms her canvas with acrylic brushes and with her wheelchair.
"I roll over the canvas. I don't worry about it because this is my painting wheelchair and it creates natural tracks on the canvas,” she said.
Hofmann’s most recent work "Journey of Healing" is hanging at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains. The two paintings were unveiled earlier this month. She says she hopes her pieces will bring hope, joy and motivation to the spinal cord and brain injury patients currently receiving care at that facility.