Artist With Down Syndrome Has Paintings and Sculptures Showcased at Tate Modern Museum
Museum curators noticed her artwork during an art competition at her college.
A 33-year-old artist with Down syndrome is the latest to have her work featured at one of the world's most prestigious museums.
After winning a competition, Emma Anderson became one of only two students at her school Cambridge Regional College showcasing her paintings and sculptures at the Tate Modern Museum.
“Look at her now,” Emma's mom, Mirka Anderson, said in an interview with SWNS. “She’s a super kid.”
Mirka, who is originally from Poland, said that when Emma was born in Cambridge, doctors told her, “You don’t have to take her home because she won’t do anything anyway.”
"Needless to say, I took her home," Mirka said. "It was very damaging as a mother who had just given birth to be told your baby is a useless piece of flesh."
Emma, who has an older and younger sister, was also born with a hole in her heart that doctors didn’t discover until months later. At 18 months old, she underwent her first heart surgery.
Mirka was pressured to enroll Emma in special education, but she pushed for teachers to allow her in mainstream schooling.
During secondary school, Emma’s family discovered her artistic talents.
"I wasn't aware of her artistic inkling because nobody in the family does anything along the lines whatsoever," Mirka said. "However, very impressive."
Emma graduated from secondary school with a degree in fine arts, and continued to hone her technique at Cambridge Regional College, where one of her teachers entered her artwork to a competition at the Tate Modern.
Mirka, who also made a documentary about Emma’s life, hopes the accomplishment will raise awareness for people living with Down syndrome.
"We all have abilities, limited abilities, disabilities," Mirka said. "I treated my Down syndrome daughter as Emma. She was always Emma."
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