Art of inspiration- Kourtney St. Clair

Throughout my life art is something that has always been there for me and I have come a long way in developing my ability to draw because of the nerve damage in my hand. My disability is what influenced me to start doing art because it’s something that has changed the way I look at life around me. My goal is to hopefully one day sell my art and share it and my story with people around the world. Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean it disables you from doing the things you love.

 – Kortney St. Clair, 2014 from the exhibit Wings of Life at UTA

That is the artist statement from her first exhibit at UTA. “Since I was little I always enjoyed art but after my car accident it became something I could do to help me deal with being in a wheelchair.” To her art has helped to show her how beautiful the imperfections in life truly are in this world. The day of her accident she says, “was one of the worst and best things that has ever happened to me.”

She creates a great deal of her art by airbrushing. This painting was featured at UTA. Photo courtesy of Kourtney St. Clair.

She creates a great deal of her art by airbrushing. This painting was featured at UTA. Photo courtesy of Kourtney St. Clair.

The exhibit came just months after she was part of history. March 2014 marked the first time that Wheelchair Racing was part of the UIL Texas State Track & Field championships. St. Clair won silver in two of the three events. Since then she has won countless medals in races all across the country. “My future goal in sports is to be able to compete in Paralympics with track and field.” This comes from an athlete with so much talent, and potential.

“I [had] always wanted to play basketball but I was never able to play because the only team was in Austin.” It was not until her family moved to Cibolo, just outside San Antonio, that she found a team. The STRAPS program was starting a junior Wheelchair Basketball team. She attended one practice, and immediately fell in love with the game. Being involved in adaptive sports has made one of the biggest impacts in her life. “I’ve become more outgoing and inspired to set challenging goals for myself.”

Kourtney St. Clair practices spot shots during the Women`s Development Camp at UTA. Photo by Jeremy Schack.

Kourtney St. Clair practices spot shots during the Women`s Development Camp at UTA. Photo by Jeremy Schack.

In this world St. Clair does not look up to one specific person, but to many different people. “I look up to the people who give to others who have less. I feel that people should always respect each other and give to those who have nothing.” Her future goal in life is to work with children with disabilities. She wants to show them how they can enjoy life no matter the extent of their disability. Kourtney St Clair is a young athlete with so much potential, and she will always be inspired by how she can be more amazing.

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