CLARK– Those who have experienced blindness, followed by the miracle of restored sight through corneal transplantation, begin to see the world in a way many people cannot. They no longer take their eyesight for granted.
The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey – whose mission is the restoration of sight – plans to honor the gift of eye tissue donation, as well as those who have received that gift through corneal transplantation, by hosting a one-of-a-kind exhibit featuring the works of cornea transplant recipients. The week-long exhibit, A Celebration of Sight, begins with a special evening event on Thursday, Oct. 28 at the Clark Public Library, located at 303 Westfield Avenue. Some works will be offered for sale to help raise funds for the Eye Bank, a charitable nonprofit serving New Jersey residents.
“There is something truly incredible about visual art that is created by someone who can now see because of a donor’s generosity,” explains Margaret Chaplin, executive director of the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey. “We are hoping to feature a variety of works, including photography, drawings, crafts, poetry, jewelry, woodworking – anything the gift of sight has made possible for a cornea transplant recipient.”
Chaplin says the Celebration of Sight is open to just about any arts, crafts or photography submissions from people who have benefited by corneal transplantation. Among the featured works will be photos taken by local photographer Christine Scarano, who was facing blindness until a cornea transplant in 2005 gave her a second chance for sight.
“I capture things people might take for granted,” Scarano said in a recent article in Vision, a magazine published by Midwest Eye Banks and the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey.
According to Chaplin, the Eye Bank is still seeking more items to display during the Celebration of Sight, and she adds that it is an excellent opportunity for local artists and craftspeople to share their talent. Those interested in submitting creative works for the Celebration of Sight should contact Community Engagement Coordinator Cathy Coursen at 1-732-382-3060, ext. 212, or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Eye Bank is also looking for organizations or individuals interested in sponsoring the event.
The Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey is a charitable not-for-profit organization dedicated to the restoration of sight. It recovers, evaluates, and distributes human eye tissue for transplantation. It also supports research into the causes and cures of blinding eye conditions, promotes donation awareness through public and professional education, and provides humanitarian aid to people in need of corneal transplantation throughout the world. For more information, call 1-800-653-9379, visit www.lionseyebanknj.org or join the Eye Bank’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lionseyebanknj.
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